• Adolescent health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: findings from the global burden of disease 2015 study.

      Karch, Andre; GBD 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Region Adolescent Health Collaborators.; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-05-01)
      The 22 countries of the East Mediterranean Region (EMR) have large populations of adolescents aged 10-24 years. These adolescents are central to assuring the health, development, and peace of this region. We described their health needs. Using data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we report the leading causes of mortality and morbidity for adolescents in the EMR from 1990 to 2015. We also report the prevalence of key health risk behaviors and determinants. Communicable diseases and the health consequences of natural disasters reduced substantially between 1990 and 2015. However, these gains have largely been offset by the health impacts of war and the emergence of non-communicable diseases (including mental health disorders), unintentional injury, and self-harm. Tobacco smoking and high body mass were common health risks amongst adolescents. Additionally, many EMR countries had high rates of adolescent pregnancy and unmet need for contraception. Even with the return of peace and security, adolescents will have a persisting poor health profile that will pose a barrier to socioeconomic growth and development of the EMR.
    • Advising vaccinations for the elderly: a cross-sectional survey on differences between general practitioners and physician assistants in Germany.

      Klett-Tammen, Carolina Judith; Krause, Gerard; von Lengerke, Thomas; Castell, Stefanie; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      In Germany, the coverage of officially recommended vaccinations for the elderly is below a desirable level. It is known that advice provided by General Practitioners and Physician Assistants influences the uptake in patients ≥60 years. Therefore, the predictors of advice-giving behavior by these professions should be investigated to develop recommendations for possible actions for improvement.
    • Anti-nuclear autoantibodies in the general German population: prevalence and lack of association with selected cardiovascular and metabolic disorders-findings of a multicenter population-based study.

      Akmatov, Manas K; Röber, Nadja; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Flesch-Janys, Dieter; Fricke, Julia; Greiser, Halina; Günther, Kathrin; Kaaks, Rudolf; Kemmling, Yvonne; Krone, Bastian; Linseisen, Jakob; Meisinger, Christa; Moebus, Susanne; Obi, Nadia; Guzman, Carlos A; Conrad, Karsten; Pessler, Frank; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-06-06)
      We determined the prevalence of anti-nuclear autoantibodies (ANAs) in the German adult population and examined the association between ANAs and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
    • Antibiotic susceptibility profiles of neonatal invasive isolates of Escherichia coli from a 2-year nationwide surveillance study in Germany, 2009-2010.

      Heideking, M; Lander, F; Hufnagel, M; Pfeifer, Y; Wicker, E; Krause, G; Berner, R; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2013-09)
      A nationwide 2-year surveillance study on invasive neonatal Escherichia coli infections in Germany was conducted. A total of 158 isolates were tested for antibiotic susceptibility. The empirical treatment regimen of ampicillin plus gentamicin for neonatal sepsis appears to remain effective, but emerging resistance needs to be closely monitored.
    • Antibiotic use on paediatric inpatients in a teaching hospital in the Gambia, a retrospective study.

      Chaw, Pa Saidou; Schlinkmann, Kristin Maria; Raupach-Rosin, Heike; Karch, André; Pletz, Mathias W; Huebner, Johannes; Nyan, Ousman; Mikolajczyk, Rafael; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-01-01)
      Antibiotics are useful but increasing resistance is a major problem. Our objectives were to assess antibiotic use and microbiology testing in hospitalized children in the Gambia. We conducted a retrospective analysis of paediatric inpatient data at The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul, The Gambia. We extracted relevant data from the admission folders of all patients (aged > 28 days to 15 years) admitted in 2015 (January-December), who received at least one antibiotic for 24 h. We also reviewed the microbiology laboratory record book to obtain separate data for the bacterial isolates and resistance test results of all the paediatric inpatients during the study period. Over half of the admitted patients received at least one antibiotic during admission (496/917) with a total consumption of 670.7 Days of Antibiotic Therapy/1000 Patient-Days. The clinical diagnoses included an infectious disease for 398/496, 80.2% of the patients on antibiotics, pneumonia being the most common (184/496, 37.1%). There were 51 clinically relevant bacterial isolates, More than half of the admitted patients received antibiotics. The reported antibiotic resistance was highest to the most commonly used antibiotics such as ampicillin. Efforts to maximize definitive antibiotic indication such as microbiological testing prior to start of antibiotics should be encouraged where possible for a more rational antibiotic use.
    • Assessing the Concepts and Designs of 58 Mobile Apps for the Management of the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola Outbreak: Systematic Review.

      Tom-Aba, Daniel; Nguku, Patrick Mboya; Arinze, Chinedu Chukwujekwu; Krause, Gerard; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-10-29)
      The use of mobile phone information technology (IT) in the health sector has received much attention especially during the 2014-2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. mHealth can be attributed to a major improvement in EVD control, but there lacks an overview of what kinds of tools were available and used based on the functionalities they offer. We aimed to conduct a systematic review of mHealth tools in the context of the recent EVD outbreak to identify the most promising approaches and guide further mHealth developments for infectious disease control. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, we searched for all reports on mHealth tools developed in the context of the 2014-2015 EVD outbreak published between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015 on Google Scholar, MEDLINE, CAB Abstracts (Global Health), POPLINE, and Web of Science in any language using the search strategy: ("outbreak" OR "epidemic") AND ("mobile phone" OR "smartphone" OR "smart phone" OR "mobile phone" OR "tablet" OR "mHealth") AND ("Ebola" OR "EVD" OR "VHF" OR "Ebola virus disease" OR "viral hemorrhagic fever") AND ("2014" OR "2015"). The relevant publications were selected by 2 independent reviewers who applied a standardized data extraction form on the tools' functionalities. We identified 1220 publications through the search strategy, of which 6.31% (77/1220) were original publications reporting on 58 specific mHealth tools in the context of the EVD outbreak. Of these, 62% (34/55) offered functionalities for surveillance, 22% (10/45) for case management, 18% (7/38) for contact tracing, and 6% (3/51) for laboratory data management. Only 3 tools, namely Community Care, Sense Ebola Followup, and Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System supported all four of these functionalities.
    • Availability of indicators of migration in the surveillance of HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B in the European Union – a short note

      Akmatov, Manas K; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Krumkamp, Ralf; Wörmann, Tanja; Chu, Janet JunQing; Paetzelt, Gunnar; Reintjes, Ralf; Pessler, Frank; Krämer, Alexander; Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany (Springer, 2012-10)
    • Bacterial community structure and effects of picornavirus infection on the anterior nares microbiome in early childhood.

      Caputo, Mahrrouz; Zoch-Lesniak, Beate; Karch, André; Vital, Marius; Meyer, Frederic; Klawonn, Frank; Baillot, Armin; Pieper, Dietmar H; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (BMC, 2019-01-07)
      Little is known regarding the nasal microbiome in early childhood and the impact of respiratory infection on the infants' nasal microbial composition. Here we investigated the temporal dynamics and diversity of the bacterial composition in the anterior nares in children attending daycare centers. For our investigation, we considered 76 parental-taken nasal swabs of 26 children (aged 13 to 36 months) collected over a study period of 3 months. Overall, there was no significant age-specific effect or seasonal shift in the nasal bacterial community structure. In a sub-sample of 14 healthy children the relative abundance of individual taxa as well as the overall diversity did not reveal relevant changes, indicating a stable community structure over the entire study period. Moreover, the nasal bacterial profiles clustered subject-specific with Bray-Curtis similarities being elevated in intra-subject calculations compared to between-subject calculations. The remaining subset of 12 children provided samples taken during picornavirus infection (PVI) and either before or after a PVI. We detected an association between the relative abundance of members of the genus Streptococcus and PV when comparing both (i) samples taken during PVI with samples out of 14 healthy children and (ii) samples taken during PVI with samples taken after PVI within the same individual. In addition, the diversity was higher during PVI than after infection. Our findings suggest that a personalized structure of the nasal bacterial community is established already in early childhood and could be detected over a timeframe of 3 months. Studies following infants over a longer time with frequent swab sampling would allow investigating whether certain parameter of the bacterial community, such as the temporal variability, could be related to viral infection.
    • Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light levels in neurodegenerative dementia: Evaluation of diagnostic accuracy in the differential diagnosis of prion diseases.

      Zerr, Inga; Schmitz, Matthias; Karch, André; Villar-Piqué, Anna; Kanata, Eirini; Golanska, Ewa; Díaz-Lucena, Daniela; Karsanidou, Aikaterini; Hermann, Peter; Knipper, Tobias; Goebel, Stefan; Varges, Daniela; Sklaviadis, Theodoros; Sikorska, Beata; Liberski, Pawel P; Santana, Isabel; Ferrer, Isidro; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Calero, Olga; Calero, Miguel; Ladogana, Anna; Sánchez-Valle, Raquel; Baldeiras, Inês; Llorens, Franc; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-02-03)
      Neurofilament light (NFL) levels in the cerebrospinal fluid are increased in several neurodegenerative dementias. However, their diagnostic accuracy in the differential diagnostic context is unknown.
    • Cerebrospinal Fluid Total Prion Protein in the Spectrum of Prion Diseases.

      Villar-Piqué, Anna; Schmitz, Matthias; Lachmann, Ingolf; Karch, André; Calero, Olga; Stehmann, Christiane; Sarros, Shannon; Ladogana, Anna; Poleggi, Anna; Santana, Isabel; Ferrer, Isidre; Mitrova, Eva; Žáková, Dana; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Baldeiras, Inês; Calero, Miguel; Collins, Steven J; Geschwind, Michael D; Sánchez-Valle, Raquel; Zerr, Inga; Llorens, Franc; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-07-30)
      Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) total prion protein (t-PrP) is decreased in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). However, data on the comparative signatures of t-PrP across the spectrum of prion diseases, longitudinal changes during disease progression, and levels in pre-clinical cases are scarce. T-PrP was quantified in neurological diseases (ND, n = 147) and in prion diseases from different aetiologies including sporadic (sCJD, n = 193), iatrogenic (iCJD, n = 12) and genetic (n = 209) forms. T-PrP was also measured in serial lumbar punctures obtained from sCJD cases at different symptomatic disease stages, and in asymptomatic prion protein gene (PRNP) mutation carriers. Compared to ND, t-PrP concentrations were significantly decreased in sCJD, iCJD and in genetic prion diseases associated with the three most common mutations E200K, V210I (associated with genetic CJD) and D178N-129M (associated with fatal familial insomnia). In contrast, t-PrP concentrations in P102L mutants (associated with the Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome) remained unaltered. In serial lumbar punctures obtained at different disease stages of sCJD patients, t-PrP concentrations inversely correlated with disease progression. Decreased mean t-PrP values were detected in asymptomatic D178-129M mutant carriers, but not in E200K and P102L carriers. The presence of low CSF t-PrP is common to all types of prion diseases regardless of their aetiology albeit with mutation-specific exceptions in a minority of genetic cases. In some genetic prion disease, decreased levels are already detected at pre-clinical stages and diminish in parallel with disease progression. Our data indicate that CSF t-PrP concentrations may have a role as a pre-clinical or early symptomatic diagnostic biomarker in prion diseases as well as in the evaluation of therapeutic interventions.
    • Changes in risk perceptions during the 2014 Ebola virus disease epidemic: results of two consecutive surveys among the general population in Lower Saxony, Germany.

      Obenauer, Julie; Rübsamen, Nicole; Garsevanidze, Ekaterine; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-05-15)
      The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak 2014 received extensive news media coverage, which faded out before the outbreak ended. News media coverage impacts risk perception; it is, however, unclear if the components of risk perception (affective and cognitive responses) change differently over time. In an online panel, we asked participants (n = 1376) about EVD risk perceptions at the epidemic's peak (November 2014) and after news media coverage faded out (August 2015). We investigated worry (affective response), perceived likelihood of infection, perceived personal impact, and coping efficacy (dimensions of cognitive response), and knowledge about transmission. Differences between the surveys with respect to manifestations of affective and cognitive dimensions were tested using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The association between individual change in knowledge and worries about EVD in the first survey was investigated using linear regression. In November 2014, the survey was filled in by 974 participants. Ten months later, 662 of them were still members of the online panel and were invited to the follow-up survey. Among the 620 respondents, affective response decreased between the surveys. Knowledge about EVD also decreased; however, participants worried about EVD in 2014 had increased knowledge in 2015. Perceived likelihood of infection decreased over time, while perceived personal impact and coping efficacy did not. Risk communication appealing to cognitive reactions by informing clearly on the risk of infection in unaffected countries may decrease inappropriate behaviors.
    • Changing infection patterns - New evidence on the prevalence of nosocomial infections and antibiotic resistance in hospitals in Germany

      Krause, Gerard; Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Deutscher Arzte-Verlag GmbH, 2018-02-06)
      Editorial to accompany the articles: „The Prevalence of Nosocomial Infection and Antibiotic Use in German Hospitals“ by Michael Behnke et al. and „Surveillance of Antibiotic Use and Resistance in Intensive Care Units (SARI)—A 15-year Cohort Study“ by Cornelius Remschmidt et al. in this issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International
    • Colonic Butyrate-Producing Communities in Humans: an Overview Using Omics Data.

      Vital, Marius; Karch, André; Pieper, Dietmar H.; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-01-18)
      Given the key role of butyrate for host health, understanding the ecology of intestinal butyrate-producing communities is a top priority for gut microbiota research. To this end, we performed a pooled analysis on 2,387 metagenomic/transcriptomic samples from 15 publicly available data sets that originated from three continents and encompassed eight diseases as well as specific interventions. For analyses, a gene catalogue was constructed from gene-targeted assemblies of all genes from butyrate synthesis pathways of all samples and from an updated reference database derived from genome screenings. We demonstrate that butyrate producers establish themselves within the first year of life and display high abundances (>20% of total bacterial community) in adults regardless of origin. Various bacteria form this functional group, exhibiting a biochemical diversity including different pathways and terminal enzymes, where one carbohydrate-fueled pathway was dominant with butyryl coenzyme A (CoA):acetate CoA transferase as the main terminal enzyme. Subjects displayed a high richness of butyrate producers, and 17 taxa, primarily members of the Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae along with some Bacteroidetes, were detected in >70% of individuals, encompassing ~85% of the total butyrate-producing potential. Most of these key taxa were also found to express genes for butyrate formation, indicating that butyrate producers occupy various niches in the gut ecosystem, concurrently synthesizing that compound. Furthermore, results from longitudinal analyses propose that diversity supports functional stability during ordinary life disturbances and during interventions such as antibiotic treatment. A reduction of the butyrate-producing potential along with community alterations was detected in various diseases, where patients suffering from cardiometabolic disorders were particularly affected. IMPORTANCE Studies focusing on taxonomic compositions of the gut microbiota are plentiful, whereas its functional capabilities are still poorly understood. Specific key functions deserve detailed investigations, as they regulate microbiota-host interactions and promote host health and disease. The production of butyrate is among the top targets since depletion of this microbe-derived metabolite is linked to several emerging noncommunicable diseases and was shown to facilitate establishment of enteric pathogens by disrupting colonization resistance. In this study, we established a workflow to investigate in detail the composition of the polyphyletic butyrate-producing community from omics data extracting its biochemical and taxonomic diversity. By combining information from various publicly available data sets, we identified universal ecological key features of this functional group and shed light on its role in health and disease. Our results will assist the development of precision medicine to combat functional dysbiosis.
    • Comparison of response patterns in different survey designs: a longitudinal panel with mixed-mode and online-only design.

      Rübsamen, Nicole; Akmatov, Manas K; Castell, Stefanie; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
      Increasing availability of the Internet allows using only online data collection for more epidemiological studies. We compare response patterns in a population-based health survey using two survey designs: mixed-mode (choice between paper-and-pencil and online questionnaires) and online-only design (without choice).
    • Contact diaries versus wearable proximity sensors in measuring contact patterns at a conference: method comparison and participants' attitudes.

      Smieszek, Timo; Castell, Stefanie; Barrat, Alain; Cattuto, Ciro; White, Peter J; Krause, Gerard; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      Studies measuring contact networks have helped to improve our understanding of infectious disease transmission. However, several methodological issues are still unresolved, such as which method of contact measurement is the most valid. Further, complete network analysis requires data from most, ideally all, members of a network and, to achieve this, acceptance of the measurement method. We aimed at investigating measurement error by comparing two methods of contact measurement - paper diaries vs. wearable proximity sensors - that were applied concurrently to the same population, and we measured acceptability.
    • Determinants of HIV, viral hepatitis and STI prevention needs among African migrants in Germany; a cross-sectional survey on knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices.

      Santos-Hövener, Claudia; Marcus, Ulrich; Koschollek, Carmen; Oudini, Hapsatou; Wiebe, Mara; Ouedraogo, Omer Idrissa; Thorlie, Adama; Bremer, Viviane; Hamouda, Osamah; Dierks, Marie-Luise; An der Heiden, Matthias; Krause, Gérard (2015)
      Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa (MisSA) are a relevant sub-group for HIV-transmission in Germany. A total of 10-15 % of all newly diagnosed cases are MisSA, and approximately one third acquired HIV in Germany. There is limited information on knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices (KABP) regarding sexual health in African communities residing in Germany.
    • Development of a Bead-Based Multiplex Assay for the Analysis of the Serological Response against the Six Pathogens HAV, HBV, HCV, CMV, T. gondii, and H. pylori.

      Filomena, Angela; Pessler, Frank; Akmatov, Manas K; Krause, Gérard; Duffy, Darragh; Gärtner, Barbara; Gerhard, Markus; Albert, Matthew L; Joos, Thomas O; Schneiderhan-Marra, Nicole; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-10-30)
      The spread of infectious diseases and vaccination history are common subjects of epidemiological and immunological research studies. Multiplexed serological assays are useful tools for assessing both current and previous infections as well as vaccination efficacy. We developed a serological multi-pathogen assay for hepatitis A, B and C virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV),

      Limaye, Dnyanesh; Limaye, Vaidehi; Pitani, Ravi Shankar; Fortwengel, Gerhard; Sydymanov, Arlan; Otzipka, Christian; Ziesenis, Patrick; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
    • Development of a risk assessment tool for contact tracing people after contact with infectious patients while travelling by bus or other public ground transport: a Delphi consensus approach.

      Mohr, Oliver; Hermes, Julia; Schink, Susanne B; Askar, Mona; Menucci, Daniel; Swaan, Corien; Goetsch, Udo; Monk, Philip; Eckmanns, Tim; Poggensee, Gabriele; Krause, Gerard; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2013)
      Tracing persons who have been in contact with an infectious patient may be very effective in preventing the spread of communicable diseases. However, criteria to decide when to conduct contact tracing are not well established. We have investigated the available evidence for contact tracing with a focus on public ground transport aiming to give guidance in what situations contact tracing should be considered.
    • Effects of pathogen dependency in a multi-pathogen infectious disease system including population level heterogeneity - a simulation study.

      Bakuli, Abhishek; Klawonn, Frank; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-12-13)
      Increased computational resources have made individual based models popular for modelling epidemics. They have the advantage of incorporating heterogeneous features, including realistic population structures (like e.g. households). Existing stochastic simulation studies of epidemics, however, have been developed mainly for incorporating single pathogen scenarios although the effect of different pathogens might directly or indirectly (e.g. via contact reductions) effect the spread of each pathogen. The goal of this work was to simulate a stochastic agent based system incorporating the effect of multiple pathogens, accounting for the household based transmission process and the dependency among pathogens.