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Rosewell A.,The National Center for Immunisation Research and Surveillance
Communicable diseases intelligence | Year: 2010

The NSW Department of Health (NSW Health) faxed health alerts to general medical practitioners during measles outbreaks in March and May 2006. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of randomly selected general practitioners (GPs) (1 per medical practice) in New South Wales to investigate the effectiveness of faxing health alerts to GPs during a communicable disease outbreak. Fax transmission data allowed comparison of GPs sent and not sent the measles alert for self-reported awareness and practice actions aimed at the prevention and control of measles. A total of 328 GPs participated in the study. GPs who were sent the alert were more likely to be aware of the measles outbreak (RR 1.18, 95% CI 1.02, 1.38). When analysed by whether a fax had been received from either NSW Health or the Australian General Practice Network, GPs who reported receiving a faxed measles alert were more likely to be aware of the outbreak (RR 2.56, 95% CI 1.84, 3.56), to offer vaccination to susceptible staff (RR 6.46, 95% CI 2.49, 16.78), and be aware of other infection control recommendations. Respondents reported that the faxed alerts were useful with 65% reporting that the alerts had reminded them to consider measles in the differential diagnosis. This study shows that faxed health alerts were useful for preparing GPs to respond effectively to a communicable disease outbreak. The fax alert system could be improved by ensuring that all general practices in New South Wales are included in the faxstream database and that their contact details are updated regularly. Source


Bauer M.J.,The Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Georgousakis M.M.,The Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Georgousakis M.M.,The National Center for Immunisation Research and Surveillance | Vu T.,The Queensland Institute of Medical Research | And 7 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

A major challenge for Streptococcus pyogenes vaccine development is the identification of epitopes that confer protection from infection by multiple S. pyogenes M-types. Here we have identified and characterised the distribution of common variant sequences from individual repeat units of the C-repeat region (CRR) of M-proteins representing 77 different M-types. Three polyvalent fusion vaccine candidates (SV1, SV2 and SV3) incorporating the most common variants were subsequently expressed and purified, and demonstrated to be alpha-helical by Circular Dichroism (CD), a secondary conformational characteristic of the CRR in the M-protein. Antibodies raised against each of these constructs recognise M-proteins that vary in their CRR, and bind to the surface of multiple S. pyogenes isolates. Antibodies raised against SV1, containing five variant sequences, also kill heterologous S. pyogenes isolates in in vitro bactericidal assays. Further structural characterisation of this construct demonstrated the conformation of SV1 was stable at different pHs, and thermal unfolding of SV1 is a reversible process. Our findings demonstrate that linkage of multiple variant sequences into a single recombinant construct overcomes the need to embed the variant sequences in foreign helix promoting flanking sequences for conformational stability, and demonstrates the viability of the polyvalent candidates as global S. pyogenes vaccine candidates. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Wiley K.E.,The National Center for Immunisation Research and Surveillance | Wiley K.E.,University of Sydney | Massey P.D.,Population Health | Cooper S.C.,University of Sydney | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Introduction: Post-partum vaccination of new mothers is currently recommended in Australia to reduce pertussis infection in infants. Internationally, vaccination recommendations now include pregnant women in some countries. Understanding the awareness of pertussis vaccination recommendations among pregnant women, and their willingness to have the vaccine while pregnant is important for informing vaccine program implementation. Objective: To determine awareness and intentions toward current recommendations for post-partum pertussis vaccination among Australian pregnant women, and their willingness to accept pertussis vaccine during pregnancy, should it be recommended in Australia in the future. Design: Quantitative self-administered survey, using a non-random stratified sampling plan based on representative proportions by age, parity and region of residence. Participants and setting: Pregnant women receiving antenatal care through three large, demographically diverse referral hospitals in metropolitan, urban and rural New South Wales, Australia. Results: The response rate was 815/939 (87%). Most women (80%) reported willingness to have the pertussis vaccine during pregnancy, should it be recommended. Thirty four per cent of women intended to receive a pertussis vaccine post-partum, 17% had received it previously, while 45% had never heard of pertussis vaccine, had not thought about it, or were undecided about having it. Compared with those who had not received a recommendation to have the vaccine post-partum, women who had received a recommendation were 7 times more likely (95% CI 4-14) to report intention to have the vaccine. Conclusions: Health care provider recommendation is paramount to raising awareness of pertussis vaccination recommendations among pregnant women. Women's willingness to have the vaccine while pregnant is encouraging, and indicates the potential for high pertussis vaccine coverage among pregnant women, should it be recommended in Australia. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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