Fort Meade, MD, United States
Fort Meade, MD, United States

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Masuoka P.,Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Klein T.A.,U.S. Army | Kim H.-C.,Medical Detachment 5th | Claborn D.M.,Missouri State University | And 10 more authors.
Geospatial Health | Year: 2010

Over 35,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis (JE) are reported worldwide each year. Culex tritaeniorhynchus is the primary vector of the JE virus, while wading birds are natural reservoirs and swine amplifying hosts. As part of a JE risk analysis, the ecological niche modeling programme, Maxent, was used to develop a predictive model for the distribution of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus in the Republic of Korea, using mosquito collection data, temperature, precipitation, elevation, land cover and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The resulting probability maps from the model were consistent with the known environmental limitations of the mosquito with low probabilities predicted for forest covered mountains. July minimum temperature and land cover were the most important variables in the model. Elevation, summer NDVI (July-September), precipitation in July, summer minimum temperature (May-August) and maximum temperature for fall and winter months also contributed to the model. Comparison of the Cx. tritaeniorhynchus model to the distribution of JE cases in the Republic of Korea from 2001 to 2009 showed that cases among a highly vaccinated Korean population were located in high-probability areas for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus. No recent JE cases were reported from the eastern coastline, where higher probabilities of mosquitoes were predicted, but where only small numbers of pigs are raised. The geographical distribution of reported JE cases corresponded closely with the predicted high-probability areas for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus, making the map a useful tool for health risk analysis that could be used for planning preventive public health measures.

Corley C.D.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Lancaster M.J.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Brigantic R.T.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Chung J.S.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | And 17 more authors.
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2012

This research follows the Updated Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems, Recommendations from the Guidelines Working Group, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly a decade ago. Since then, models have been developed and complex systems have evolved with a breadth of disparate data to detect or forecast chemical, biological, and radiological events that have a significant impact on the One Health landscape. How the attributes identified in 2001 relate to the new range of event-based biosurveillance technologies is unclear. This article frames the continuum of event-based biosurveillance systems (that fuse media reports from the internet), models (ie, computational that forecast disease occurrence), and constructs (ie, descriptive analytical reports) through an operational lens (ie, aspects and attributes associated with operational considerations in the development, testing, and validation of the event-based biosurveillance methods and models and their use in an operational environment). A workshop was held in 2010 to scientifically identify, develop, and vet a set of attributes for event-based biosurveillance. Subject matter experts were invited from 7 federal government agencies and 6 different academic institutions pursuing research in biosurveillance event detection. We describe 8 attribute families for the characterization of event-based biosurveillance: event, readiness, operational aspects, geographic coverage, population coverage, input data, output, and cost. Ultimately, the analyses provide a framework from which the broad scope, complexity, and relevant issues germane to event-based biosurveillance useful in an operational environment can be characterized. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Li J.,University of California at Davis | Dohna H.Z.,University of California at Davis | Cardona C.J.,University of Minnesota | Miller J.,National Center for Medical Intelligence | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

When avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are transmitted from their reservoir hosts (wild waterfowl and shorebirds) to domestic bird species, they undergo genetic changes that have been linked to higher virulence and broader host range. Common genetic AIV modifications in viral proteins of poultry isolates are deletions in the stalk region of the neuraminidase (NA) and additions of glycosylation sites on the hemagglutinin (HA). Even though these NA deletion mutations occur in several AIV subtypes, they have not been analyzed comprehensively. In this study, 4,920 NA nucleotide sequences, 5,596 HA nucleotide and 4,702 HA amino acid sequences were analyzed to elucidate the widespread emergence of NA stalk deletions in gallinaceous hosts, the genetic polymorphism of the deletion patterns and association between the stalk deletions in NA and amino acid variants in HA. Forty-seven different NA stalk deletion patterns were identified in six NA subtypes, N1-N3 and N5-N7. An analysis that controlled for phylogenetic dependence due to shared ancestry showed that NA stalk deletions are statistically correlated with gallinaceous hosts and certain amino acid features on the HA protein. Those HA features included five glycosylation sites, one insertion and one deletion. The correlations between NA stalk deletions and HA features are HA-NA-subtype-specific. Our results demonstrate that stalk deletions in the NA proteins of AIV are relatively common. Understanding the NA stalk deletion and related HA features may be important for vaccine and drug development and could be useful in establishing effective early detection and warning systems for the poultry industry.

Li J.,University of California at Davis | Dohna H.z.,University of California at Davis | Miller J.,National Center for Medical Intelligence | Cardona C.J.,University of California at Davis | Carpenter T.E.,University of California at Davis
Genomics | Year: 2010

Public gene sequence databases have become important research tools to understand viruses and other organisms. Evidence suggests that the identifying information for some of the sequences in these databases might not belong to the sequences they are associated with. We developed two tests to conduct a comprehensive analysis of all published sequences of the hemaglutinin and neuramidase genes of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) to identify sequences that may have been misclassified. One test identified sequence pairs with highly similar nucleotide sequences despite a difference of several years between their sampling dates. Another test, which was applied to samples sequenced and deposited more than once, detected sequences with more nucleotide differences to their own than to their closest relatives. All sequences identified as misclassified were further traced to relevant publications to assess the likelihood of contamination and determine if any conclusions were associated with the use of these sequences. Our results suggested that among 4040 published gene sequences examined, approximately 0.8% might be misclassified and that publications using these sequences may include inaccurate statements. Findings from this report suggest that using laboratory-adapted strains and handling multiple samples simultaneously increases the risk of contamination. The tests reported here may be useful for screening new submissions to public sequence databases.

McKinley R.A.,Air Force Research Lab | Tripp Jr. L.D.,Air Force Research Lab | Fullerton K.L.,National Center for Medical Intelligence | Goodyear C.,Infoscitex Corporation
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2013

Introduction: Air-to-air refueling, formation flying, and projectile countermeasures all rely on a pilot's ability to be aware of his position and motion relative to another object. Methods: Eight subjects participated in the study, all members of the sustained acceleration stress panel at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. The task consisted of the subject performing a two-dimensional join up task between a KC-135 tanker and an F-16. The objective was to guide the nose of the F-16 to the posterior end of the boom extended from the tanker, and hold this position for 2 s. If the F-16 went past the tanker, or misaligned with the tanker, it would be recorded as an error. These tasks were performed during four Gz acceleration profiles starting from a baseline acceleration of 1.5 Gz. The plateaus were 3, 5, and 7 Gz. The final acceleration exposure was a simulated aerial combat maneuver (SACM). Results: One subject was an outlier and therefore omitted from analysis. The mean capture time and percent error data were recorded and compared separately. There was a significant difference in error percentage change from baseline among the Gz profiles, but not capture time. Mean errors were approximately 15% higher in the 7 G profile and 10% higher during the SACM. Discussion: This experiment suggests that the ability to accurately perceive the motion of objects relative to other objects is impeded at acceleration levels of 7 Gz or higher. © by the Aerospace Medical Association, Alexandria, VA.

Riley P.,Predictive Science Inc. | Ben-Nun M.,Predictive Science Inc. | Armenta R.,Predictive Science Inc. | Linker J.A.,Predictive Science Inc. | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2013

Rapidly characterizing the amplitude and variability in transmissibility of novel human influenza strains as they emerge is a key public health priority. However, comparison of early estimates of the basic reproduction number during the 2009 pandemic were challenging because of inconsistent data sources and methods. Here, we define and analyze influenza-like-illness (ILI) case data from 2009-2010 for the 50 largest spatially distinct US military installations (military population defined by zip code, MPZ). We used publicly available data from non-military sources to show that patterns of ILI incidence in many of these MPZs closely followed the pattern of their enclosing civilian population. After characterizing the broad patterns of incidence (e.g. single-peak, double-peak), we defined a parsimonious SIR-like model with two possible values for intrinsic transmissibility across three epochs. We fitted the parameters of this model to data from all 50 MPZs, finding them to be reasonably well clustered with a median (mean) value of 1.39 (1.57) and standard deviation of 0.41. An increasing temporal trend in transmissibility (dR0/dt∼0.017week-1, p-value: 0.013) during the period of our study was robust to the removal of high transmissibility outliers and to the removal of the smaller 20 MPZs. Our results demonstrate the utility of rapidly available - and consistent - data from multiple populations.

Gunther V.J.,U.S. Army | Putnak R.,U.S. Army | Eckels K.H.,U.S. Army | Mammen M.P.,National Center for Medical Intelligence | And 4 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2011

Dengue has recently been defined by the World Health Organization as a major international public health concern. Although several vaccine candidates are in various stages of development, there is no licensed vaccine available to assist in controlling the further spread of this mosquito borne disease. The need for a reliable animal model for dengue disease increases the risk to vaccine developers as they move their vaccine candidates into large-scale phase III testing. In this paper we describe the cellular immune responses observed in a human challenge model for dengue infection; a model that has the potential to provide efficacy data for potential vaccine candidates in a controlled setting. Serum levels of sIL-2Rα and sTNF-RII were increased in volunteers who developed illness. Supernatants from in vitro stimulated PBMC were tested for cytokines associated with a T H1 or T H2 T-cell response (IL-2, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, IL-5) and only IFN-γ was associated with protection against fever and/or viremia. Interestingly, IFN-γ levels drop to 0 pg/mL for volunteers who develop illness after challenge suggesting that some mechanism of immunosuppression may play a role in dengue illness. The human challenge model provides an opportunity to test potential vaccine candidates for efficacy prior to large-scale phase III testing, and hints at a possible mechanism for immune suppression by dengue. © 2011.

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