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Gutzkow K.B.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | Langleite T.M.,University of Oslo | Meier S.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | Meier S.,University of Oslo | And 3 more authors.
Mutagenesis | Year: 2013

The single-cell gel electrophoresis - the comet assay - has proved to be a sensitive and relatively simple method that is much used in research for the analysis of specific types of DNA damage, and its use in genotoxicity testing is increasing. The efficiency of the comet assay, in terms of number of samples processed per experiment, has been rather poor, and both research and toxicological testing should profit from an increased throughput. We have designed and validated a format involving 96 agarose minigels supported by a hydrophilic polyester film. Using simple technology, hundreds of samples may be processed in one experiment by one person, with less time needed for processing, less use of chemicals and requiring fewer cells per sample. Controlled electrophoresis, including circulation of the electrophoresis solution, improves the homogeneity between replicate samples in the 96-minigel format. The high-throughput method described in this paper should greatly increase the overall capacity, versatility and robustness of the comet assay. © The Author 2013.


PubMed | Na Homolce Hospital and National Institute of Public Health NIPH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

This study presents the results of a multidisciplinary, nosocomial MRSA outbreak investigation in an 8-bed medical intensive care unit (ICU). The identification of seven MRSA positive patients in the beginning of 2014 led to the closure of the ward for several weeks. A multidisciplinary, retrospective investigation was initiated in order to identify the reason and the source for the outbreak, describe MRSA transmission in the department and identify limitations in infection control.The investigation comprised an epidemiological description of MRSA cases from 2012 to 2014 and a characterization of MRSA isolates, including phage-, spa- and PFGE-typing. Additionally, MRSA screening was performed from the hospital staff and the environment. To identify the reason for the outbreak, work-related, psychological and behavioral factors were investigated by impartial audits and staff interviews.Thirty-one MRSA cases were registered during the study period, and 36 isolates were investigated. Molecular typing determined the outbreak strain (phage type 54/812, PFGE type A4, spa type t003) and identified the probable index case. Nasal carriage in one employee and a high environmental contamination with the outbreak strain was documented. Important gaps in nursing procedures and general management were identified. Elevated stress levels and communication problems preceded the outbreak. Compliance with hand hygiene and isolation procedures was evaluated as appropriate.This study demonstrates the complexity of controlling hospital-associated infections. The combined use of different typing methods is beneficial for outbreak investigations. Psychological, behavioral and other work-related factors have an important impact on the spread of nosocomial pathogens. These factors should be addressed and integrated in routine infection control practice.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, National Institute of Public Health NIPH, Hainaut Vigilance Sanitaire HVS and Hygiene Publique in Hainaut HPH, Jozef Stefan Institute and 22 more.
Type: | Journal: Environmental research | Year: 2015

Within the European Environment and Health Action Plan an initiative to establish a coherent human biomonitoring approach in Europe was started. The project COPHES (COnsortium to Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale ) developed recommendations for a harmonized conduct of a human biomonitoring (HBM) survey which came into action as the pilot study DEMOCOPHES (DEMOnstration of a study to COordinate and Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale). Seventeen European countries conducted a survey with harmonized instruments for, inter alia, recruitment, fieldwork and sampling, in autumn/winter 2011/2012. Based on the countries experiences of conducting the pilot study, following lessons learnt were compiled: the harmonized fieldwork instruments (basic questionnaire, urine and hair sampling) turned out to be very valuable for future HBM surveys on the European scale. A school approach was favoured by most of the countries to recruit school-aged children according to the established guidelines and country specific experiences. To avoid a low participation rate, intensive communication with the involved institutions and possible participants proved to be necessary. The communication material should also include information on exclusion criteria and offered incentives. Telephone contact to the participants the day before fieldwork during the survey can prevent the forgetting of appointments and first morning urine samples. To achieve comparable results on the European scale, training of interviewers in all issues of recruitment, fieldwork and sampling through information material and training sessions is crucial. A survey involving many European countries needs time for preparation and conduct. Materials for quality control prepared for all steps of recruitment, fieldwork and sampling proved to be important to warrant reliable results.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Public Health NIPH, Research Institute of Influenza, University of Hong Kong and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: BMC public health | Year: 2016

The Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network (GIHSN) has established a prospective, active surveillance, hospital-based epidemiological study to collect epidemiological and virological data for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres over several consecutive seasons. It focuses exclusively on severe cases of influenza requiring hospitalization. A standard protocol is shared between sites allowing comparison and pooling of results. During the 2014-2015 influenza season, the GIHSN included seven coordinating sites from six countries (St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russian Federation; Prague, Czech Republic; Istanbul, Turkey; Beijing, China; Valencia, Spain; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Here, we present the detailed epidemiological and influenza vaccine effectiveness findings for the Northern Hemisphere 2014-2015 influenza season.


Puig-Barbera J.,Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencia Region FISABIO Public Health | Burtseva E.,RAS D. I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology | Yu H.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Cowling B.J.,University of Hong Kong | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2016

The Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network (GIHSN) has established a prospective, active surveillance, hospital-based epidemiological study to collect epidemiological and virological data for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres over several consecutive seasons. It focuses exclusively on severe cases of influenza requiring hospitalization. A standard protocol is shared between sites allowing comparison and pooling of results. During the 2014-2015 influenza season, the GIHSN included seven coordinating sites from six countries (St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russian Federation; Prague, Czech Republic; Istanbul, Turkey; Beijing, China; Valencia, Spain; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Here, we present the detailed epidemiological and influenza vaccine effectiveness findings for the Northern Hemisphere 2014-2015 influenza season. © 2016 The Author(s).


Bolt F.,University of Warwick | Cassiday P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Tondella M.L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | DeZoysa A.,Public Health England | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2010

We describe the development of a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the causative agent of the potentially fatal upper respiratory disease diphtheria. Global changes in diphtheria epidemiology are highlighted by the recent epidemic in the former Soviet Union (FSU) and also by the emergence of nontoxigenic strains causing atypical disease. Although numerous techniques have been developed to characterize C. diphtheriae, their use is hindered by limited portability and, in some instances, poor reproducibility. One hundred fifty isolates from 18 countries and encompassing a period of 50 years were analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Strain discrimination was in accordance with previous ribotyping data, and clonal complexes associated with disease outbreaks were clearly identified by MLST. The data produced are portable, reproducible, and unambiguous. The MLST scheme described provides a valuable tool for monitoring and characterizing endemic and epidemic C. diphtheriae strains. Furthermore, multilocus sequence analysis of the nucleotide data reveals two distinct lineages within the population of C. diphtheriae examined, one of which is composed exclusively of biotype belfanti isolates and the other of multiple biotypes. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Huffman M.P.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Hoie A.H.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Svendsen C.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Brunborg G.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | And 4 more authors.
Mutagenesis | Year: 2016

2,5-Dimethylfuran (DMF) and furfuryl alcohol (FFA) are two substituted furans that are formed during the processing of foods and have also been used as food flavorings. DMF and FFA are proposed to be bioactivated by human sulfotransferases (SULTs) which are not expressed in conventional cell lines used for genotoxicity testing. Therefore, in addition to the standard V79 cell line, we used a transfected V79 derived cell line co-expressing human cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2E1 and human SULT1A1 to assess the genotoxicity of DMF and FFA. The alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay was used to detect DNA damage in the form of single strand breaks and alkali-labile sites after exposure to DMF (0.5h; 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2mM) or FFA (3h; 1, 3, 6 or 15mM). DMF induced DNA damage in V79 cells in a concentration-dependent manner irrespective of the expression of human CYP2E1 and SULT1A1. Almost no increase in the level of DNA damage was detected after exposure to FFA, except for a weak effect at the highest concentration in the transfected cell line. The results suggest that DNA damage in V79 cells from exposure to DMF detected by the alkaline SCGE assay is independent of human CYP2E1 and SULT1A1, and the genotoxic effect of FFA, as assessed by SCGE, is minimal in V79 cells. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society.


Boon P.E.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | van der Voet H.,Wageningen University | Ruprich J.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | Turrini A.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | And 2 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2014

In this paper two models present in the computational tool Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA) were compared for assessing the usual intake of lead in five countries. For this, we used national food consumption data organised according to the format of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Comprehensive database and a single lead concentration database in which analysed commodities were organised according to EFSA's Standard Sampling Description (SSD) system. This meant that both input data were coded according to the hierarchical FoodEx1 classification system. We demonstrate that the naïve Observed Individual Means model resulted in more conservative estimates of the exposure in the right tail of the exposure distribution compared to a refined usual intake model, the LogisticNormal-Normal model. With MCRA, the usual intake could be estimated with both models using food consumption and concentration data that were coded according to the hierarchical FoodEx1 classification system demonstrating that this tool can be used in EFSA's data environment. Additionally, the computational tool has functionalities 1) to check the input data quality by presenting detailed information about these data around a specified percentile of exposure and 2) to decide whether the use of a more refined usual intake model is appropriate. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Trolle E.,Technical University of Denmark | Vandevijvere S.,Scientific Institute of Public Health SIPH | Ruprich J.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | Ege M.,Technical University of Denmark | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

The aim of the present study was to validate thirty-eight picture series of six pictures each developed within the PANCAKE (Pilot study for the Assessment of Nutrient intake and food Consumption Among Kids in Europe) project for portion size estimation of foods consumed by infants, toddlers and children for future pan-European and national dietary surveys. Identical validation sessions were conducted in three European countries. In each country, forty-five foods were evaluated; thirty-eight foods were the same as the depicted foods, and seven foods were different, but meant to be quantified by the use of one of the thirty-eight picture series. Each single picture within a picture series was evaluated six times by means of predefined portions. Therefore, thirty-six pre-weighed portions of each food were evaluated by convenience samples of parents having children aged from 3 months to 10 years. The percentages of participants choosing the correct picture, the picture adjacent to the correct picture or a distant picture were calculated, and the performance of individual pictures within the series was assessed. For twenty foods, the picture series performed acceptably (mean difference between the estimated portion number and the served portion number less than 0·4 (sd < 1·1)). In addition, twelve foods were rated acceptable after adjustment for density differences. Some other series became acceptable after analyses at the country level. In conclusion, all picture series were acceptable for inclusion in the PANCAKE picture book. However, the picture series of baby food, salads and cakes either can only be used for foods that are very similar to those depicted or need to be substituted by another quantification tool. © The Authors 2013.


Stock N.K.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | Stock N.K.,European Program for Public Health Microbiology EUPHEM | Maly M.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | Sebestova H.,National Institute of Public Health NIPH | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and mostly presents as pneumonia, sepsis or meningitis. A notable portion of IPD cases is vaccine preventable and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was introduced into the routine childhood immunization programs in many countries during the last decades. Objectives: Before PCV introduction in the Czech Republic in 2010, a national surveillance system for IPD was implemented in 2008 and further improved in 2011. In this study, we describe the new surveillance system for the first time and measure its sensitivity between 2010 and 2013 using the capture-recapture method. Furthermore, we describe the recent epidemiological trend of IPD, taking sensitivity estimates into account. Results and Conclusions: Between 2010 and 2013 the estimated sensitivity of the overall IPD surveillance increased from 81% to 99%. The sensitivity of individual reporting sources increased from 72% to 87% for the laboratory system and from 31% to 89% for the epidemiological notification system. Crucial for this improvement was the introduction of quarterly report reminders in 2011. Due to positive source dependency, the presented sensitivity estimates are most probably overestimated and reflect the upper limit of reporting completeness. Stratification showed variation in sensitivity of reporting particularly according to region.An effect of the PVC vaccination in the Czech Republic is visible in the incidence of IPD in target age groups (<5y). This influence was not evident in the total IPD incidence and may interfere with increasing sensitivity of reporting. In 2013, an increase in the IPD incidence was observed. This finding requires further observation and a detailed vaccine impact analysis is needed to assess the current immunization strategy. © 2015 Stock et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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