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Estripeaut D.,Hospital del Nino Panama | Contreras R.,Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas Of Estudios Of La Salud | Tinajeros O.,Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat | Castrejon M.M.,GSK Vaccines | And 3 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2015

Purpose: In April 2007, Panama introduced Hepatitis A universal vaccination using a two-dose schedule (Havrix® junior; GSK Vaccines, Belgium). We assessed the impact of this hepatitis A vaccine three years after it was recommended for universal mass vaccination in Panama. Materials and methods: Hepatitis A vaccination impact was assessed using two different approaches. The first approach used retrospective data (incidence and number of cases for all age groups), collected from the passive surveillance of the Epidemiologic Surveillance System of the Ministry of Health of hepatitis A and unspecified hepatitis before (2000-2006) and after (2008-2010) introduction of hepatitis A vaccine. The second approach was a prospective hospital-based active surveillance for hepatitis cases conducted in subjects (0-14years) during 2009-2011 at three sentinel hospitals in Panama. Results: Overall, the annual incidence of hepatitis A and unspecified hepatitis in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were 13.1, 7.9 and 3.7 per 100,000 subjects, lower than the baseline incidence of 51.1 per 100,000 subjects. In comparison to the mean baseline period (2000-2006), there was an 82% mean reduction in the overall hepatitis-related outcomes (hepatitis A and unspecified hepatitis) after vaccine introduction (2008-2010) in all age groups. In the hospital-based surveillance (2009-2011), of the 42 probable viral hepatitis A cases, nine cases were confirmed as acute hepatitis A (8 in 2009, 1 in 2010). Of these confirmed cases, two belonged to the targeted vaccine group (1-4 years) but were not vaccinated. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the introduction of two-dose hepatitis A vaccines in Panama has contributed to the reduction in the incidence of overall hepatitis-related outcomes for all age groups, suggesting herd protection. Additional monitoring is required to document a sustained long-term effect. © 2015 The Authors.


Moree W.J.,University of California at San Diego | McConnell O.J.,University of California at San Diego | Nguyen D.D.,University of California at San Diego | Sanchez L.M.,University of California at San Diego | And 13 more authors.
ACS Chemical Biology | Year: 2014

Coral reefs are intricate ecosystems that harbor diverse organisms, including 25% of all marine fish. Healthy corals exhibit a complex symbiosis between coral polyps, endosymbiotic alga, and an array of microorganisms, called the coral holobiont. Secretion of specialized metabolites by coral microbiota is thought to contribute to the defense of this sessile organism against harmful biotic and abiotic factors. While few causative agents of coral diseases have been unequivocally identified, fungi have been implicated in the massive destruction of some soft corals worldwide. Because corals are nocturnal feeders, they may be more vulnerable to fungal infection at night, and we hypothesized that the coral microbiota would have the capability to enhance their defenses against fungi in the dark. A Pseudoalteromonas sp. isolated from a healthy octocoral displayed light-dependent antifungal properties when grown adjacent to Penicillium citrinum (P. citrinum) isolated from a diseased Gorgonian octocoral. Microbial MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) coupled with molecular network analyses revealed that Pseudoalteromonas produced higher levels of antifungal polyketide alteramides in the dark than in the light. The alteramides were inactivated by light through a photoinduced intramolecular cyclization. Further NMR studies led to a revision of the stereochemical structure of the alteramides. Alteramide A exhibited antifungal properties and elicited changes in fungal metabolite distributions of mycotoxin citrinin and citrinadins. These data support the hypothesis that coral microbiota use abiotic factors such as light to regulate the production of metabolites with specialized functions to combat opportunistic pathogens at night. (Figure Presented). © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Eastwood G.,New York State Department of Health | Eastwood G.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Eastwood G.,Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit | Loaiza J.R.,Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat | And 11 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2016

Landscape changes occurring in Panama, a country whose geographic location and climate have historically supported arbovirus transmission, prompted the hypothesis that arbovirus prevalence increases with degradation of tropical forest habitats. Investigations at four variably degraded sites revealed a diverse array of potential mosquito vectors, several of which are known vectors of arbovirus pathogens. Overall, 675 pools consisting of 25,787 mosquitoes and representing 29 species from nine genera (collected at ground and canopy height across all habitats) were screened for cytopathic viruses on Vero cells. We detected four isolates of Gamboa virus (family: Bunyaviridae; genus: Orthobunyavirus) from pools of Aedeomyia squamipennis captured at canopy level in November 2012. Phylogenetic characterization of complete genome sequences shows the new isolates to be closely related to each other with strong evidence of reassortment among the M segment of Panamanian Gamboa isolates and several other viruses of this group. At the site yielding viruses, Soberanía National Park in central Panama, 18 mosquito species were identified, and the predominant taxa included A. squamipennis, Coquillettidia nigricans, and Mansonia titillans. © Copyright 2016 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Vergara-Chen C.,University of Murcia | Vergara-Chen C.,Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat | Gonzalez-Wanguemert M.,University of Algarve | Marcos C.,University of Murcia | Perez-Ruzafa A.,University of Murcia
Journal of Molluscan Studies | Year: 2013

Environmental heterogeneity in coastal lagoons is expected to facilitate local adaptation in response to different ecological conditions, causing significant genetic structuring within lagoon populations at a small scale and also differentiation between lagoons. However, these patterns and processes of genetic structuring are still poorly understood. The aims of our study were (1) to seek genetic structure at a small scale in Cerastoderma glaucum inside the Mar Menor coastal lagoon using a mitochondrial DNA marker (COI) that has previously detected genetic differentiation inside the lagoon in other species and (2) to evaluate the influence of extreme environmental conditions and habitat discontinuity on its genetic composition. The results indicate high levels of haplotype diversity and low values of nucleotide diversity. COI data provide evidence of significant population differentiation among some localities within the lagoon. Limited gene flow and unstable population dynamics (i.e. fluctuations in population size caused by local extinction and recolonization), probably due to the high environmental heterogeneity, could generate the small-scale genetic divergence detected between populations within the lagoon. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Malacological Society of London, all rights reserved.


Mejia A.,Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat | Mejia A.,University of Manchester | Ulph F.,University of Manchester | Calam R.,University of Manchester
American Journal of Community Psychology | Year: 2016

Parenting interventions are effective for preventing psychological difficulties in children. However, their active ingredients have not been comprehensively explored. How do they work? What are the mechanisms operating behind changes? In 2012, a randomized controlled trial of a parenting intervention was conducted in low-resource communities of Panama. Effects on child behavioral difficulties, parental stress, and parenting practices were large in the short and long term. This was an ideal opportunity to explore potential mechanisms operating behind effects found in this low-resource setting. Twenty-five parents were interviewed. Data were analyzed through an inductive semantic thematic analysis. Three themes emerged from the data: (a) psychological mechanisms behind changes, (b) behavioral changes in parent, and (c) changes in the children. Parents described that the intervention triggered changes in emotion regulation, self-efficacy, and problem solving. Parents also reported behavioral changes such as praising their children more often, who in turn seemed more responsible and better at following instructions. The study offers participant-driven insight into potential pathways of change after participation in this parenting intervention, pathways that are often overlooked in quantitative studies. Future studies should further explore these pathways, through mediator and moderator analyses, and determine how much is shared across interventions and across different cultural settings. © Society for Community Research and Action 2016.


Bayard V.,Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas Of Estudios Of La Salud | DeAntonio R.,Glaxosmithkline | Contreras R.,Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas Of Estudios Of La Salud | Tinajero O.,Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: Rotavirus vaccination was introduced in Panama in March 2006. This study was carried out in order to describe the trends in gastroenteritis-related (GER) hospitalizations and mortality in children <5 years of age during the pre- and post-vaccination periods. Methods: Data from the Expanded Program on Immunization (Ministry of Health) were used to calculate vaccine coverage. GER mortality and hospitalizations were obtained through database review of the Contraloría General de la República and hospital discharge databases of five sentinel hospitals, for the period 2000-2008. Mean rates of GER mortality and mean numbers of hospitalizations during the baseline pre-vaccination period (2000-2005) were compared to those of 2007 and 2008. Results: National coverage for the second rotavirus vaccine dose increased from 30% in 2006 to 62% in 2007 and 71% in 2008, varying from 62% in the West region to 77% in the Panama region. Overall, at 2-years post-vaccine introduction, the GER mortality rate in Panama had decreased by 50% (95% confidence interval (CI) 46-54). During 2000-2005, the GER mortality rate in children (<1 year) was 73/100 000, decreasing by 45% (95% CI 40-51) in 2008. In children aged 1-4 years, the GER mortality rate was 20.3/100 000 (2000-2005), decreasing by 54% (95% CI 48-60) in 2008. The Panama region registered the highest mortality rate reduction (69%; 95% CI 58-81) for 2008. During 2008, GER hospitalizations among children <5 years of age decreased by 30% (95% CI 21-37) from the mean number of hospitalizations during 2000-2005. Conclusions: A substantial reduction in GER mortality and hospitalizations was observed following the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in Panama. © 2011 International Society for Infectious Diseases.


Hoyos-Santillan J.,University of Nottingham | Lomax B.H.,University of Nottingham | Large D.,University of Nottingham | Turner B.L.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2016

Tropical peatlands represent an important source of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. However, we do not know where in the peat profile these gases are produced and how controlling factors, such as substrate quality, which can vary substantially with peat age, and anoxic-oxic conditions, interact to determine production rates. To address this knowledge gap, this study investigated if substrate limitation of CO2 and CH4 production differs under anoxic-oxic peat conditions using entire peat profiles, from tropical peatlands in Panama. We determined the variation in peat organic chemistry through stratigraphic profiles using tetramethylammonium-pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TMAH-Py-GC/MS). To explore how variation in peat organic chemistry through the depth profile impacted on CO2 and CH4 production rates under anoxic-oxic conditions we carried out a series of incubation experiments. The TMAH-Py-GC/MS analysis showed high concentrations of long chain fatty acids (>C20) in surface peat, and variation in the distribution of the lignin monomers through the peat profile. Both anoxic CH4 and CO2 production was greatest from the surface of the peat profile with surface peat accounting for 92 ± 1.7 and 54 ± 2.9% of the cumulative CH4 and CO2 production, respectively. The high CO2 and CH4 production rate under anoxic conditions, in surface peat, was strongly related to greater concentrations of lignin, but also long chain fatty acids and polysaccharides, in this section of the peat profile. As expected, CH4 production decreased, and became decoupled from peat organic chemistry, following peat aeration. In contrast, aeration dramatically increased CO2 emissions throughout the entire peat profile. This demonstrates that the recalcitrance of buried peat does not protect C stocks in tropical peatlands, if their water tables are lowered in response to drainage or prolonged drought. In conclusion, our work highlight that information on both labile substrate availability and water table fluctuation are needed to predict CO2 and CH4 fluxes from tropical peatlands. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


Hoyos-Santillan J.,University of Nottingham | Craigon J.,University of Nottingham | Lomax B.H.,University of Nottingham | Lopez O.R.,Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat | And 2 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2016

Aims: Little is known about the influence of vegetation on the timing and quantities of greenhouse gas fluxes from lowland Neotropical peatlands to the atmosphere. To address this knowledge gap, we investigated if palm forests moderate greenhouse gas fluxes from tropical peatlands due to radial oxygen loss from roots into the peat matrix. Methods: We compared the diurnal pattern of greenhouse gas fluxes from peat monoliths with and without seedlings of Raphia taedigera palm, and monitored the effect of land use change on greenhouse gas fluxes from R. taedigera palm swamps in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Results: CH4 fluxes from peat monoliths with R. taedigera seedlings varied diurnally, with the greatest emissions during daytime. Radial oxygen loss from the roots of R. taedigera seedlings partially supressed CH4 emissions at midday; this suppression increased as seedlings grew. On a larger scale, removal of R. taedigera palms for agriculture increased CH4 and N2O fluxes, but decreased CO2 fluxes when compared to nearby intact palm forest. The net impact of forest clearance was a doubling of the radiative forcing. Conclusions: R. taedigera palm forest influences the emission of greenhouse gases from lowland tropical peatlands through radial oxygen loss into the rhizosphere. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

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Loading Institute Investigaciones Cientificas Y Servicios Of Alta Tecnologia Indicasat collaborators