Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Effects of Workflow Optimization in Endovascularly Treated Stroke Patients - A Pre-Post Effectiveness Study.

    Schregel, Katharina; Behme, Daniel; Tsogkas, Ioannis; Knauth, Michael; Maier, Ilko; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael; Hinz, José; Liman, Jan; Psychogios, Marios-Nikos; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-01-01)
    Endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke has become standard of care for patients with large artery occlusion. Early restoration of blood flow is crucial for a good clinical outcome. We introduced an interdisciplinary standard operating procedure (SOP) between neuroradiologists, neurologists and anesthesiologists in order to streamline patient management. This study analyzes the effect of optimized workflow on periprocedural timings and its potential influence on clinical outcome. Data were extracted from a prospectively maintained university hospital stroke database. The standard operating procedure was established in February 2014. Of the 368 acute stroke patients undergoing endovascular treatment between 2008 and 2015, 278 patients were treated prior to and 90 after process optimization. Outcome measures were periprocedural time intervals and residual functional impairment. After implementation of the SOP, time from symptom onset to reperfusion was significantly reduced (median 264 min prior and 211 min after SOP-introduction (IQR 228-32 min and 161-278 min, respectively); P<0.001). Especially faster supply of imaging and prompt transfer of patients to the angiography suite contributed to this effect. Time between hospital admission and groin puncture was reduced by half after process optimization (median 64 min after versus 121 min prior to SOP-introduction (IQR 54-77 min and 96-161 min, respectively); P<0.001). Clinical outcome was significantly better after workflow optimization as measured with the modified Rankin Scale (common odds ratio (OR) 0.56; 95% CI 0.32-0.98; P = 0.038). Optimization of workflow and interdisciplinary teamwork significantly improved the outcome of patients with acute ischemic stroke due to a significant reduction of in-hospital examination, transportation, imaging and treatment times.
  • Poor knowledge of vaccination recommendations and negative attitudes towards vaccinations are independently associated with poor vaccination uptake among adults - Findings of a population-based panel study in Lower Saxony, Germany.

    Akmatov, Manas K; Rübsamen, Nicole; Deyneko, Igor V; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018)
    The aims of this study were to (a) assess knowledge of official vaccination recommendations and attitudes towards vaccinations among adults and (b) examine their association with vaccination uptake among adults.
  • Influence of demographic changes on the impact of vaccination against varicella and herpes zoster in Germany - a mathematical modelling study.

    Horn, Johannes; Damm, Oliver; Greiner, Wolfgang; Hengel, Hartmut; Kretzschmar, Mirjam E; Siedler, Anette; Ultsch, Bernhard; Weidemann, Felix; Wichmann, Ole; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; elmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018)
    Epidemiological studies suggest that reduced exposure to varicella might lead to an increased risk for herpes zoster (HZ). Reduction of exposure to varicella is a consequence of varicella vaccination but also of demographic changes. We analyzed how the combination of vaccination programs and demographic dynamics will affect the epidemiology of varicella and HZ in Germany over the next 50 years.
  • Partial verification bias and incorporation bias affected accuracy estimates of diagnostic studies for biomarkers that were part of an existing composite gold standard.

    Karch, Annika; Koch, Armin; Zapf, Antonia; Zerr, Inga; Karch, André; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-10)
    To investigate how choice of gold standard biases estimates of sensitivity and specificity in studies reassessing the diagnostic accuracy of biomarkers that are already part of a lifetime composite gold standard (CGS).
  • ["I cannot kiss my wife"- An Analysis of Daily Experiences of MRSA-carriers].

    Raupach-Rosin, H; Klett-Tammen, C J; Schmalz, O; Karch, A; Castell, S; Mikolajczyk, R; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-12)
    Objectives: There are no data available on the quality of care after discharge from hospital and only limited data are available on the psychosocial effects of being an MRSA carrier within the German health system.Methods:Patients who tested positive for MRSA in the previous year were invited to take part in focus groups.Results:2 focus groups with a total of 9 MRSA-carriers were conducted. The level of knowledge about MRSA differed between participants. In some cases, lack of information led to uncertainty and inappropriate measures to counteract MRSA. Some participants restricted their social contacts, especially to children, in order to prevent transmission. Patients experienced stigmatization in the health care system more often in inpatient care than in the outpatient sector. Only in a few cases both eradication therapy and swabs for control purposes were carried out.Conclusions:Information about the appropriate treatment and management of MRSA should be made available to patients more easily; in particular, patients need to be informed that MRSA is no threat to healthy individuals. Despite the desire of MRSA-carriers to become MRSA negative, treatment and control of MRSA seem to have low priority in the ambulant health care sector in Germany.
  • Population-level impact, herd immunity, and elimination after human papillomavirus vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis of predictions from transmission-dynamic models.

    Brisson, Marc; Bénard, Élodie; Drolet, Mélanie; Bogaards, Johannes A; Baussano, Iacopo; Vänskä, Simopekka; Jit, Mark; Boily, Marie-Claude; Smith, Megan A; Berkhof, Johannes; Canfell, Karen; Chesson, Harrell W; Burger, Emily A; Choi, Yoon H; De Blasio, Birgitte Freiesleben; De Vlas, Sake J; Guzzetta, Giorgio; Hontelez, Jan A C; Horn, Johannes; Jepsen, Martin R; Kim, Jane J; Lazzarato, Fulvio; Matthijsse, Suzette M; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Pavelyev, Andrew; Pillsbury, Matthew; Shafer, Leigh Anne; Tully, Stephen P; Turner, Hugo C; Usher, Cara; Walsh, Cathal; Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-11)
    Modelling studies have been widely used to inform human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination policy decisions; however, many models exist and it is not known whether they produce consistent predictions of population-level effectiveness and herd effects. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of model predictions of the long-term population-level effectiveness of vaccination against HPV 16, 18, 6, and 11 infection in women and men, to examine the variability in predicted herd effects, incremental benefit of vaccinating boys, and potential for HPV-vaccine-type elimination.
  • 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.
  • The Risk of Hospitalizations with Injury Diagnoses in a Matched Cohort of Children and Adolescents with and without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Germany: A Database Study.

    Lindemann, Christina; Langner, Ingo; Banaschewski, Tobias; Garbe, Edeltraut; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder in children and adolescents worldwide, and children with ADHD have elevated risk of injuries. Our aim was to assess the risk of hospitalizations with injury diagnoses and their various subtypes in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed ADHD compared to those without ADHD, as well as to study sex effects on this risk in the setting of the German health care system.
  • Effect of Disease Definition on Perceived Burden of Acute Respiratory Infections in Children: A Prospective Cohort Study Based on Symptom Diaries.

    Zoch, Beate; Günther, Annette; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsfrschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-10)
    Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are among the most frequent childhood diseases in Western countries. Assessment of ARI episodes for research purposes is usually based on parent-administered retrospective questionnaires or prospective symptom diaries. The aim of our analysis was to compare the effect of ARI definitions on the corresponding disease burden in a prospective cohort study using symptom diaries.
  • A feasibility trial to examine the social norms approach for the prevention and reduction of licit and illicit drug use in European University and college students

    Pischke, Claudia R; Zeeb, Hajo; van Hal, Guido; Vriesacker, Bart; McAlaney, John; Bewick, Bridgette M; Akvardar, Yildiz; Guillén-Grima, Francisco; Orosova, Olga; Salonna, Ferdinand; Kalina, Ondrej; Stock, Christiane; Helmer, Stefanie M; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T (2012-10-18)
    Abstract Background Incorrect perceptions of high rates of peer alcohol and tobacco use are predictive of increased personal use in student populations. Correcting misperceptions by providing feedback has been shown to be an effective intervention for reducing licit drug use. It is currently unknown if social norms interventions are effective in preventing and reducing illicit drug use in European students. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design of a multi-site cluster controlled trial of a web-based social norms intervention aimed at reducing licit and preventing illicit drug use in European university students. Methods/Design An online questionnaire to assess rates of drug use will be developed and translated based on existing social norms surveys. Students from sixteen universities in seven participating European countries will be invited to complete the questionnaire. Both intervention and control sites will be chosen by convenience. In each country, the intervention site will be the university that the local principal investigator is affiliated with. We aim to recruit 1000 students per site (baseline assessment). All participants will complete the online questionnaire at baseline. Baseline data will be used to develop social norms messages that will be included in a web-based intervention. The intervention group will receive individualized social norms feedback. The website will remain online during the following 5 months. After five months, a second survey will be conducted and effects of the intervention on social norms and drug use will be measured in comparison to the control site. Discussion This project is the first cross-national European collaboration to investigate the feasibility of a social norms intervention to reduce licit and prevent illicit drug use among European university students. Final trial registration number DRKS00004375 on the ‘German Clinical Trials Register’.
  • Cost-effectiveness of human papillomavirus vaccination in Germany.

    Damm, Oliver; Horn, Johannes; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Kretzschmar, Mirjam E E; Kaufmann, Andreas M; Deleré, Yvonne; Ultsch, Bernhard; Wichmann, Ole; Krämer, Alexander; Greiner, Wolfgang; Hemholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
    The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in addition to the current cervical cancer screening programme in Germany using a dynamic transmission model.
  • Factors associated with attrition in a longitudinal online study: results from the HaBIDS panel.

    Rübsamen, Nicole; Akmatov, Manas K; Castell, Stefanie; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Hemholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08-31)
    Knowing about predictors of attrition in a panel is important to initiate early measures against loss of participants. We investigated attrition in both early and late phase of an online panel with special focus on preferences regarding mode of participation.
  • Evaluation of vaccination herd immunity effects for anogenital warts in a low coverage setting with human papillomavirus vaccine-an interrupted time series analysis from 2005 to 2010 using health insurance data.

    Thöne, Kathrin; Horn, Johannes; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08-14)
    Shortly after the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine recommendation and hence the reimbursement of vaccination costs for the respective age groups in Germany in 2007, changes in the incidence of anogenital warts (AGWs) were observed, but it was not clear at what level the incidence would stabilize and to what extent herd immunity would be present. Given the relatively low HPV vaccination coverage in Germany, we aimed to assess potential vaccination herd immunity effects in the German setting.
  • Association between Embolic Stroke Patterns, ESUS Etiology, and New Diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation: A Secondary Data Analysis of the Find-AF Trial.

    Maier, Ilko L; Schregel, Katharina; Karch, André; Weber-Krueger, Mark; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Stahrenberg, Raoul; Gröschel, Klaus; Bähr, Mathias; Knauth, Michael; Psychogios, Marios-Nikos; Wachter, Rolf; Liman, Jan; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
    Background. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important cause of embolic stroke of undetermined source (ESUS). Imaging-patterns like multiple infarcts, simultaneous involvement of different circulations, infarcts of different ages, and isolated cortical infarcts are likely to indicate cardioembolic stroke. The aim of our study was to evaluate the association between embolic stroke patterns, ESUS, and the new diagnosis of AF. Methods. Stroke etiology and imaging characteristics from patients included in the Find-AF study were obtained. Embolic stroke patterns in CT- or MR-imaging were correlated with the diagnosis of ESUS as well as the short- (on baseline ECG and during 7-day Holter) and long-term (12-month follow-up) diagnosis of AF. Results. From 281 patients included in the Find-AF study, 127 (45.2%) patients with ischemic lesions detected in CT or MRI were included. 26 (20.5%) of these patients had ESUS. At least one embolic stroke pattern was detected in 67 (52.7%) patients. Embolic stroke patterns were not associated with ESUS (OR 1.57, 0.65-3.79, p = 0.317), the short-term (OR 0.64, 0.26-1.58, p = 0.327) or long-term diagnosis of AF (OR 0.72, 0.31-1.68, p = 0.448). Conclusions. This secondary data analysis of the Find-AF study could not provide evidence for an association between embolic stroke patterns, ESUS, and the new diagnosis of AF.
  • Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.

    GBD 2015 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators; Karch, André; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-10-08)
    Improving survival and extending the longevity of life for all populations requires timely, robust evidence on local mortality levels and trends. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides a comprehensive assessment of all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015. These results informed an in-depth investigation of observed and expected mortality patterns based on sociodemographic measures.
  • Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.

    GBD 2015 Child Mortality Collaborators; Karch, A. (2016)
    Non-fatal outcomes of disease and injury increasingly detract from the ability of the world's population to live in full health, a trend largely attributable to an epidemiological transition in many countries from causes affecting children, to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) more common in adults. For the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we estimated the incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for diseases and injuries at the global, regional, and national scale over the period of 1990 to 2015.
  • Global, regional, national, and selected subnational levels of stillbirths, neonatal, infant, and under-5 mortality, 1980-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.

    Unknown author (2016-10-08)
    Established in 2000, Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) catalysed extraordinary political, financial, and social commitments to reduce under-5 mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. At the country level, the pace of progress in improving child survival has varied markedly, highlighting a crucial need to further examine potential drivers of accelerated or slowed decreases in child mortality. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides an analytical framework to comprehensively assess these trends for under-5 mortality, age-specific and cause-specific mortality among children under 5 years, and stillbirths by geography over time.
  • Structure of the Escherichia coli ProQ RNA-binding protein.

    Gonzalez, Grecia M; Hardwick, Steven W; Maslen, Sarah L; Skehel, J Mark; Holmqvist, Erik; Vogel, Jörg; Bateman, Alex; Luisi, Ben F; Broadhurst, R William; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-05)
    The protein ProQ has recently been identified as a global small noncoding RNA-binding protein in Salmonella, and a similar role is anticipated for its numerous homologs in divergent bacterial species. We report the solution structure of Escherichia coli ProQ, revealing an N-terminal FinO-like domain, a C-terminal domain that unexpectedly has a Tudor domain fold commonly found in eukaryotes, and an elongated bridging intradomain linker that is flexible but nonetheless incompressible. Structure-based sequence analysis suggests that the Tudor domain was acquired through horizontal gene transfer and gene fusion to the ancestral FinO-like domain. Through a combination of biochemical and biophysical approaches, we have mapped putative RNA-binding surfaces on all three domains of ProQ and modeled the protein's conformation in the apo and RNA-bound forms. Taken together, these data suggest how the FinO, Tudor, and linker domains of ProQ cooperate to recognize complex RNA structures and serve to promote RNA-mediated regulation.
  • Sociodemographic determinants of spatial disparities in early childhood caries: An ecological analysis in Braunschweig, Germany.

    Meyer, Frederic; Karch, André; Schlinkmann, Kristin Maria; Dreesman, Johannes; Horn, Johannes; Rübsamen, Nicole; Sudradjat, Henny; Schubert, Rainer; Mikolajczyk, Rafael; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-05-26)
    To identify spatial disparities in dental caries experience (measured by dmft (decayed missing filled teeth) index) of children in the city of Braunschweig and to evaluate whether these disparities can be explained by sociodemographic characteristics.

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