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DSHS Authors: 2004 Research Articles by DSHS Staff

The following list includes peer-reviewed research articles that have been written by staff of the Texas Department of State Health Services since its formation in September 2004. For more information about these articles or for a full-text copy, please contact the Medical and Research Library by e-mail a library@dshs.texas.gov by calling (512) 776-7559.

If you are a DSHS author and have published a research article, textbook, or book chapter since September 2004 and you would like it to be included in this list, please contact the Medical and Research Library.

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mrl-diamond2004 Articles (in date order with most recent first)

Clinical and Laboratory Features of Mycobacterium Porcinum.
Wallace RJ Jr, Brown-Elliott BA, Wilson RW, Mann L, Hall L, Zhang Y, Jost KC Jr, Brown JM, Kabani A, Schinsky MF, Steigerwalt AG, Crist CJ, Roberts GD, Blacklock Z, Tsukamura M, Silcox V, Turenne C.
J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Dec;42(12):5689-97.
Recent molecular studies have shown Mycobacterium porcinum, recovered from cases of lymphadenitis in swine, to have complete 16S rDNA sequence identity and >70% DNA-DNA homology with human isolates within the M. fortuitum third biovariant complex. We identified 67 clinical and two environmental isolates of the M. fortuitum third biovariant sorbitol-negative group, of which 48 (70%) had the same PCR restriction enzyme analysis (PRA) profile as the hsp65 gene of M. porcinum (ATCC 33776(T)) and were studied in more detail. Most U.S. patient isolates were from Texas (44%), Florida (19%), or other southern coastal states (15%). Clinical infections included wound infections (62%), central catheter infections and/or bacteremia (16%), and possible pneumonitis (18%). Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (1,463 bp) showed 100% identity with M. porcinum ATCC 33776(T). Sequencing of 441 bp of the hsp65 gene showed four sequevars that differed by 2 to 3 bp from the porcine strains. Clinical isolates were positive for arylsulfatase activity at 3 days, nitrate, iron uptake, D-mannitol, i-myo-inositol, and catalase at 68 degrees C. They were negative for L-rhamnose and D-glucitol (sorbitol). Clinical isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and linezolid and susceptible or intermediate to cefoxitin, clarithromycin, imipenem, and amikacin. M. porcinum ATCC 33776(T) gave similar results except for being nitrate negative. These studies showed almost complete phenotypic and molecular identity between clinical isolates of the M. fortuitum third biovariant D-sorbitol-negative group and porcine strains of M. porcinum and confirmed that they belong to the same species. Identification of M. porcinum presently requires hsp65 gene PRA or 16S rRNA or hsp65 gene sequencing.

Melatonin Exposures Reported to Texas Poison Centers in 1998-2003.
Forrester MB.
Vet Hum Toxicol. 2004 Dec;46(6):345-6.
Melatonin regulates circadian rhythms, and although widely used in the US, information on the public use of melatonin and patterns of reported adverse effects associated with the substance is limited. To describe the patterns of melatonin calls to poison centers in Texas during 1998-2003, data on all melatonin calls reported to the Texas Poison Center Network were analyzed. During 1998-2003, there were 779 identified human exposures to melatonin identified. Of those patients with a known age, 59.1% were < 6 y. Males accounted for 54.1% of preschool-age patients while more of the older patients were female. Melatonin exposures were unintentional in 99.3% of the cases among children less than 6y and unintentional in < 41% among the older age groups. While 92.4% of exposures involving the youngest age group were managed outside of a health care facility, 42% or less of the exposures occurring to patients > age 6 years were managed outside of a health care facility. Of those cases with a known outcome, the proportion of cases with at least minor effects rose with increasing age. The majority of melatonin exposures reported to Texas poison centers involved children < 6 y. Younger patients were more likely to be male, have unintentional exposures, have no clinical effect, and to not require management at health care facilities. The observed clinical effects and treatment methods were consistent with the literature.

slo K(+) Channel Gene Regulation Mediates Rapid Drug Tolerance.
Ghezzi A, Al-Hasan YM, Larios LE, Bohm RA, Atkinson NS.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Dec 7;101(49):17276-81.
Changes in neural activity caused by exposure to drugs may trigger homeostatic mechanisms that attempt to restore normal neural excitability. In Drosophila, a single sedation with the anesthetic benzyl alcohol changes the expression of the slo K(+) channel gene and induces rapid drug tolerance. We demonstrate linkage between these two phenomena by using a mutation and a transgene. A mutation that eliminates slo expression prevents tolerance, whereas expression from an inducible slo transgene mimics tolerance in naive animals. The behavioral response to benzyl alcohol can be separated into an initial phase of hyperkinesis and a subsequent phase of sedation. The hyperkinetic phase causes a drop in slo gene expression and makes animals more sensitive to benzyl alcohol. It is the sedative phase that stimulates slo gene expression and induces tolerance. We demonstrate that the expression level of slo is a predictor of drug sensitivity.

The Doctor’s Role in Bioterrorism, “Medicine, Crime, and Punishment”
Clements B, Evans RG.
Lancet. 2004 Dec;364 Suppl 1:s26-7.
[No abstract available.]

Insight from a Breastfeeding Peer Support Pilot Program for Husbands and Fathers of Texas WIC Participants.
Stremler J, Lovera D.
J Hum Lact. 2004 Nov;20(4):417-22.
A Father-to-Father Breastfeeding Support Pilot Program conducted by the Texas Department of Health provides a model of a viable way to increase breastfeeding rates in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program). The pilot concept was based on previous success with a breastfeeding peer counselor program and research documenting the father's attitude as an important influence on a mother's decision to breastfeed. Peer dads are fathers of breastfed infants participating in the WIC Program. They are recruited, trained, and hired to give breastfeeding and parenting information to other WIC fathers. WIC fathers rated the information they received as "very important" and indicated that counseling sessions would help them support their infants'mothers with breastfeeding and be better fathers. Breastfeeding initiation rates increased at clinics employing peer dads. Father-to-father breastfeeding education was successful in educating and empowering fathers, enabling them to support their breastfeeding family members.

Epidemiology of Spider Bites in Texas, 1998-2002.
Forrester MB, Stanley SK.
Public Health. 2004 Oct;118(7):506-7.

The Effect of Fever, Febrile Illnesses, and Heat Exposures on the Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Texas-Mexico Border Population.
Suarez L, Felkner M, Hendricks K.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2004 Oct;70(10):815-9.
BACKGROUND: Hyperthermia produces neural tube defects (NTDs) in a variety of animal species. Elevated maternal body temperatures may also place the developing human embryo at risk. We examined the relation between maternal hyperthermia and the development of NTDs in a high-risk Mexican-American population. METHODS: Case-women were Mexican-American women with NTD-affected pregnancies who resided and delivered in any of the 14 Texas counties bordering Mexico, during 1995-2000. Control-women were randomly selected from study area residents delivering normal live births, frequency-matched to cases by hospital and year. Information on maternal fevers, febrile illnesses, exposures to heat generated from external sources, and hyperthermia-inducing activities was gathered through in-person interviews, conducted about six weeks postpartum. RESULTS: The risk effect (OR) associated with maternal fever in the first trimester, compared to no fever, was 2.9 (95% CI, 1.5-5.7). Women taking fever-reducing medications showed a lower risk effect (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.0-5.6) than those who did not (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.4-10.9). First-trimester maternal exposures to heat devices such as hot tubs, saunas, or electric blankets were associated with an OR of 3.6 (95% CI, 1.1-15.9). Small insignificant effects were observed for activities such as cooking in a hot kitchen (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.0-2.6) and working or exercising in the sun (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.9-2.2). CONCLUSIONS: Maternal hyperthermia increases the risk for NTD-affected offspring. Women intending to become pregnant should avoid intense heat exposures, carefully monitor and manage their febrile illnesses, and routinely consume folic acid supplements. (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Dietary Nitrites and Nitrates, Nitrosatable Drugs, and Neural Tube Defects.
Brender JD, Olive JM, Felkner M, Suarez L, Marckwardt W, Hendricks KA.
Epidemiology 2004;15(3):330-6.
BACKGROUND: Amine-containing (nitrosatable) drugs can react with nitrite to form N-nitroso compounds, some of which are teratogenic. Data are lacking on whether dietary intake of nitrates and nitrites modifies the association between maternal nitrosatable drug exposure and neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. METHODS: We examined nitrosatable drug exposure and NTD-affected pregnancies in relation to dietary nitrite and total nitrite intake in a case-control study of Mexican American women. We interviewed 184 women with NTD-affected pregnancies and 225 women with normal live births, including questions on periconceptional drug exposures and dietary intake. For 110 study participants, nitrate was also measured in the usual source of drinking water. RESULTS: Women who reported taking drugs classified as nitrosatable were 2.7 times more likely to have an NTD-affected pregnancy than women without this exposure (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-5.3). The effect of nitrosatable drugs was observed only in women with higher intakes of dietary nitrite and total nitrite (dietary nitrite + 5% dietary nitrate). Women within the highest tertile (greater than 10.5 mg/day) of total nitrite were 7.5 times more likely to have an NTD-affected pregnancy if they took nitrosatable drugs (95% CI = 1.8-45.4). The association between nitrosatable drug exposure and NTDs was also stronger in women whose water nitrate levels were higher. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that effects of nitrosatable drug exposure on risk for neural tube defects in offspring could depend on the amounts of dietary nitrite and total nitrite intake.

Medical Records vs. Interview Responses: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Variables for Linked Birth Defect Cases.
Ramadhani TA, Canfield MA, Waller DK, Case AP.
Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2004 Sep;70(9):592-6.
BACKGROUND: Data pertaining to birth defects are subject to certain limitations depending on the collection method. This study compares the agreement of data from medical records and maternal interviews. METHODS: The medical records and maternal interviews were linked for 1017 deliveries. Prevalence, concordance and kappa coefficients were calculated for maternal gestational and non-gestational diabetes, insulin use, seizures/epilepsy, Hispanic ethnicity, and infant/fetus sex. RESULTS: The prevalence of non-gestational diabetes was 4.3% in the medical records and 3.4% in the maternal interviews, with 98.1% agreement. The prevalence of gestational diabetes was 7.9% in medical records and 9.2% in maternal interviews, with 94.3% agreement. Similar prevalences and high levels of agreement were observed between the two systems for infant/fetus sex and mother's Hispanic ethnicity. Although high concordance was observed for seizures/epilepsy, kappa value was moderate. CONCLUSIONS: The availability of two distinct sources of data provides an exceptional opportunity to compare and validate both data sources. We found that the data for certain variables from maternal interviews strongly agreed with information from medical records. However, the extent of that agreement depended on the type of variable measured. Our results suggest that for some variables such as demographic variables, researchers can use either of the two data sources. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Prevalence of Craniorachischisis in a Texas-Mexico Border Population.
Johnson KM, Suarez L, Felkner MM, Hendricks K.
Birth Def Res Part A 2004;70(2):92-4.
BACKGROUND: The most severe neural tube defect (NTD), craniorachischisis, is characterized by anencephaly confluent with spina bifida open from the cervical to the lumbar region. We describe the prevalence of craniorachischisis among the Texas-Mexico border population during the period 1993-1999. METHODS: An active surveillance system identified all clinically apparent NTD-affected fetuses and infants born to mothers residing and delivering in any of the 14 Texas-Mexico border counties. Craniorachischisis cases included live-born, stillborn, and therapeutic abortions. RESULTS: A total of 16 craniorachischisis cases were identified for a total prevalence of 0.51 per 10,000 live births (Mexican American prevalence, 0.52 per 10,000) and a prevalence of 0.28 per 10,000 live births for cases of 20 weeks gestation or greater. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of craniorachischisis was higher than that reported in Atlanta (0.1 per 10,000 live births), but much lower than that reported in Northern China (10.7 per 10,000 births). In this high NTD prevalence region, it is possible that a multiplicity of risk factors, mostly related to poverty, contribute to a high prevalence of craniorachischisis.

Evaluation of the Jumonji Gene and Risk for Spina Bifida and Congenital Heart Defects.
Volcik K, Zhu H, Finnell RH, Shaw G, Canfield MA, Lammer EJ.
Am J Med Genet 2004;126A(2):215-7.

Promoter Haplotype Combinations for the Human PDGFRA Gene Are Associated with Risk of Neural Tube Defects.
Zhu H, Wicker NJ, Volcik K, Zhang J, Shaw GM, Lammer EJ et al.
Mol Genet Metab 2004; 81:127-132.
Recent animal studies suggested that deregulated expression of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRalpha) may contribute to the failure of normal neural tube closure (NTC). There is also suggestive evidence that the promoter haplotype of the PDGFRA is associated with genetic susceptibility in human neural tube defects (NTDs). The purpose of our study was to investigate the association between promoter haplotype combinations of the human PDGFRA gene and risk for NTDs in a Hispanic population from the Texas-Mexico border region. This population has a considerably higher prevalence of NTDs (16/10,000 live births) than that generally reported in the United States (8-10/10,000 live births). In the present study, NTDs were defined as spina bifida or anencephaly. The haplotype of PDGFRA gene promoter was determined by direct DNA sequence analysis. Two novel haplotypes, H2epsilon and H1beta, were found. We observed significant differences among variable haplotype groups from in vitro transient transfection studies in U2-OS osteosarcoma cell and two other cell lines (HeLa cell and MCF7 cell). Result from our case-control study demonstrated that the frequencies of haplotypes with low transcription activity were significantly higher in NTD mothers than that observed in control mothers (odds ratio=2.2, 95% CI=1.0-4.6). Infants with at least one low activity allele showed slightly higher risk (odds ratio=1.5, 95%=0.8-3.1). Our study suggests that the reduced transcriptional activity of PDGFRA gene could increase the risk of having an NTD-affected pregnancy.

Applying Statistical Methods to Improve the Efficiency of Case Clues in an Active Birth Defects Surveillance System.
Langlois PH, Driggers D, Phelps A.
J Registry Management 2004;31(1):19-26.

Epidemiology of Snakebites Reported to Poison Centers in Texas from 1998 through 2002.
Forrester MB, Stanley SK.
Tex Med 2004;100:64-70.
ABSTRACT: The 15 species and subspecies of poisonous snakes endemic to Texas include all of the major poisonous snakes in the United States. Rates of poisonous snakebites have been reported to be higher in Texas than in most other states. However, epidemiologic data on poisonous and nonpoisonous snakebites are limited. Using data on snakebites to humans reported to the six poison centers in Texas, we examined associations with various demographic and clinical factors. The reported snakebite penetrance increased from 1998 through 2002. Most of the reported snakebites involved adults. Males were more likely to have reported snakebites than females. Most reported snakebites had mild-to-moderate outcomes. Snakebites were reported more frequently in the spring and summer. The geographic pattern of reported snakebites was generally consistent with the reported distribution of the types of poisonous snakes.

Theoretical Perspectives on Public Communication Preparedness for Terrorist Attacks.
Wray, R.J., Kreuter, M.W., Jacobsen, H., Clements, B.W., Evans, R.G.
Fam Community Health. 2004 Jul-Sep;27(3):232-41.
The experience of federal health authorities in responding to the mailed anthrax attacks in the Fall of 2001 sheds light on the challenges of public information dissemination in emergencies. Lessons learned from the Fall of 2001 have guided more recent efforts related to crisis communication and preparedness goals. This article applies theories and evidence from the field of communication to provide an orientation to how public health communication can best contribute to the preparedness effort. This theoretical orientation provides a framework to systematically assess current recommendations for preparedness communication.

Bioterrorism Risk Perceptions and Educational Needs of Public Health Professionals Before and After September 11, 2001: A National Needs Assessment Survey.
Shadel BN, Chen JJ, Newkirk RW, Lawrence SJ, Clements B, Evans RG.
J Public Health Manag Pract. 2004 Jul-Aug;10(4):282-9.
The study objectives were to compare local public health professionals' bioterrorism risk perceptions, the extent of bioterrorism preparedness training, and to describe preferred methods for delivery of preparedness education in the United States. National needs assessments were conducted via a mailed survey to 3,074 local public health departments in October 2000 and November 2001. Compared to a survey conducted in October 2000, the perceived risk of a bioterrorism attack in the United States increased dramatically after September 11 (p < 0.0001); however, 57% of respondents believed one was unlikely to occur within their own community. Public health professionals perceive their own communities to be at low risk for a bioterrorism event. Ongoing, updated, standardized bioterrorism preparedness education is needed.

Bioterrorism Preparedness Coordination: An Ataxic Saga Continues.
Clements B, Evans RG.
Public Health Rep. 2004 Jan-Feb;119(1):16-8. (No abstract available.)

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Last updated February 28, 2017