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DSHS Authors: 2017 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 at library@dshs.texas.gov by calling (512) 776-7559.

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mrl-diamond2017 Articles (in date order with most recent first)

Saxena V, Bolling BG, Wang T. West Nile Virus. Clin Lab Med. 2017 Jun;37(2):243-252. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Mar 3.
No abstract available.

Pieracci EG, Evert N, Drexler NA, Mayes B, Vilcins I, Huang P, et al. Fatal flea-borne typhus in Texas: a retrospective case series, 1985-2015. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017 May;96(5):1088-1093. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0465.
Flea-borne (murine) typhus is a global rickettsiosis caused by Rickettsia typhi. Although flea-borne typhus is no longer nationally notifiable, cases are reported for surveillance purposes in a few U.S. states. The infection is typically self-limiting, but may be severe or life-threatening in some patients. We performed a retrospective review of confirmed or probable cases of fatal flea-borne typhus reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services during 1985-2015. When available, medical charts were also examined. Eleven cases of fatal flea-borne typhus were identified. The median patient age was 62 years (range, 36-84 years) and 8 (73%) were male. Patients presented most commonly with fever (100%), nausea and vomiting (55%), and rash (55%). Respiratory (55%) and neurologic (45%) manifestations were also identified frequently. Laboratory abnormalities included thrombocytopenia (82%) and elevated hepatic transaminases (63%). Flea or animal contact before illness onset was frequently reported (55%). The median time from hospitalization to administration of a tetracycline-class drug was 4 days (range, 0-5 days). The median time from symptom onset to death was 14 days (range, 1-34 days). Flea-borne typhus can be a life-threatening disease if not treated in a timely manner with appropriate tetracycline-class antibiotics. Flea-borne typhus should be considered in febrile patients with animal or flea exposure and respiratory or neurologic symptoms of unknown etiology.

Forrester MB. Pediatric Nandina domestica ingestions reported to poison centers. Hum Exp Toxicol 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
Nandina domestica is grown as an ornamental plant in the United States but has also been reported as an invasive plant in a number of states. Parts of the plant, particularly the berries, contain cyanogenic glycosides that convert to hydrogen cyanide when ingested. This investigation characterized N. domestica ingestions involving patients of age 5 years and less reported to Texas poison centers during 2000–2015. There were 875 total N. domestica ingestions. A seasonal pattern was observed with the highest proportion of ingestions occurring in March (18.5%) and April (14.7%). The patients were male in 55.0% of the cases; 40.8% of the patients were of age 1 and 37.0% of age 2. Berries were specifically mentioned in 709 ingestions, of which 57.3% involved one berry and 28.5% an unknown number of berries. The ingestion occurred at the patient’s own residence in 92.9% of the cases, and the patient was managed on site in 97.0%. The most frequently reported clinical effects were vomiting (3.7%), abdominal pain (1.0%), diarrhea (0.9%), and nausea (0.7%). In conclusion, N. domestica ingestions among young children generally do not result in serious outcomes and can be managed successfully outside of a healthcare facility.

Forrester MB. Texas bull nettle (Cnidoscolus texanus) exposures reported to Texas poison centers. Wilderness Environ Med 2017 [Epub ahead of print]
Objective: Texas bull nettle (Cnidoscolus texanus) is covered in bristly hairs similar to stinging nettle. Contact with the plant may result in intense dermal pain, burning, itching, cellulitis, and allergic reaction. This study characterizes C. texanus exposures reported to a large state-wide poison center system. Methods: Cases were C. texanus exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2000-2015. The distribution of cases was determined for patient demographics, exposure circumstances, and patient outcome. Results: A total of 140 C. texanus exposures were identified. Twenty percent of the patients were aged ?=5 years, 21% were 6 to 12 years, 5% were 13 to 19 years, and 51% were ?=20years; and 51% of the patients were male. Eighty-one percent of the exposures occurred at the patient's own residence, 11% in a public area, 2% at another residence, and 1% at school. Seventy-eight percent of the patients were managed on site, 13% were already at or en route to a health care facility, and 6% were referred to a health care facility. Eighty-eight percent of the exposures resulted in dermal effects: irritation or pain (56%), erythema or flushing (31%), edema (27%), pruritus (24%), rash (19%), puncture or wound (19%), and hives or welts (11%). Conclusions: C. texanus exposures reported to Texas poison centers were most likely to be unintentional and occur at the patient's own residence. The outcomes of the exposures tended not to be serious and could be managed successfully outside of health care facilities.

Forrester MB. Copper sulfate: A potential hazard at school. TX Public Health J 2017;69(2):4.

Nelson SM, Gao YT, Nogueira LM, et al. Diet and biliary tract cancer risk in Shanghai, China. PLoS One. 2017 Mar 13;12(3):e0173935. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173935.
Trends in biliary tract cancer incidence rates have increased in Shanghai, China. These trends have coincided with economic and developmental growth, as well as a shift in dietary patterns to a more Westernized diet. To examine the effect of dietary changes on incident disease, we evaluated associations between diet and biliary tract cancers amongst men and women from a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China. Biliary tract cancer cases were recruited from 42 collaborating hospitals in urban Shanghai, and population-based controls were randomly selected from the Shanghai Household Registry. Food frequency questionnaire data were available for 225 gallbladder, 190 extrahepatic bile duct, and 68 ampulla of Vater cancer cases. A total of 39 food groups were created and examined for associations with biliary tract cancer. Interestingly, only four food groups demonstrated a suggested association with gallbladder, extrahepatic bile duct, or ampulla of Vater cancers. The allium food group, consisting of onions, garlic, and shallots showed an inverse association with gallbladder cancer (OR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.68-0.97). Similar trends were seen in the food group containing seaweed and kelp (OR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.67-0.96). In contrast, both preserved vegetables and salted meats food groups showed positive associations with gallbladder cancer (OR:1.27, 95% CI: 1.06-1.52; OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.02-1.37, respectively). Each of these four food groups showed similar trends for extrahepatic bile duct and ampulla of Vater cancers. The results of our analysis suggest intake of foods with greater anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in decreasing the risk of biliary tract cancers. Future studies should be done to better understand effects of cultural changes on diet, and to further examine the impact diet and inflammation have on biliary tract cancer incidence.

Adam JK, Abeyta R, Smith B, Gaul L, et al. Clinician survey to determine knowledge of dengue and clinical management practices, Texas, 2014. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Jan 30. pii: 16-0367. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0367. [Epub ahead of print]
Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease, is increasingly being identified as a cause of outbreaks in the United States. During July-December 2013, a total of three south Texas counties reported 53 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases; 26 were locally acquired, constituting the largest outbreak in Texas since 2005. Because dengue outbreaks are expected to continue in south Texas and early case identification and timely treatment can reduce mortality, we sought to determine clinicians' knowledge of dengue and its clinical management. A survey was sent to 2,375 south Texas clinicians; 217 (9%) completed the survey. Approximately half of participants demonstrated knowledge needed to identify dengue cases, including symptoms (56%), early indicators of shock (54%), or timing of thrombocytopenia (48%). Fewer than 20% correctly identified all prevention messages, severe dengue warning signs, or circumstances in which a dengue patient should return for care. Knowledge of clinical management was limited; few participants correctly identified scenarios when plasma leakage occurred (10%) or a crystalloid solution was indicated (7%); however, 45% correctly identified when a blood transfusion was indicated. Because of the ongoing threat of dengue, we recommend clinicians in south Texas receive dengue clinical management training.

Forrester MB. Snow globes: A potential Christmas hazard. TX Public Health J 2017;69(1):4.
No abstract available.

Honein MA, Dawson AL, Petersen EE, Jones AM, Lee EH, Yazdy MM, Ahmad N, Macdonald J, Evert N, et al. Birth defects among fetuses and infants of US women with evidence of possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy. JAMA. 2017 Jan 3;317(1):59-68. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.19006.
Importance: Understanding the risk of birth defects associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy may help guide communication, prevention, and planning efforts. In the absence of Zika virus, microcephaly occurs in approximately 7 per 10 000 live births. Objective: To estimate the preliminary proportion of fetuses or infants with birth defects after maternal Zika virus infection by trimester of infection and maternal symptoms. Design, Setting, and Participants: Completed pregnancies with maternal, fetal, or infant laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika virus infection and outcomes reported in the continental United States and Hawaii from January 15 to September 22, 2016, in the US Zika Pregnancy Registry, a collaboration between the CDC and state and local health departments. Exposures: Laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika virus infection in a maternal, placental, fetal, or infant sample. Main Outcomes and Measures: Birth defects potentially Zika associated: brain abnormalities with or without microcephaly, neural tube defects and other early brain malformations, eye abnormalities, and other central nervous system consequences. Results: Among 442 completed pregnancies in women (median age, 28 years; range, 15-50 years) with laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika virus infection, birth defects potentially related to Zika virus were identified in 26 (6%; 95% CI, 4%-8%) fetuses or infants. There were 21 infants with birth defects among 395 live births and 5 fetuses with birth defects among 47 pregnancy losses. Birth defects were reported for 16 of 271 (6%; 95% CI, 4%-9%) pregnant asymptomatic women and 10 of 167 (6%; 95% CI, 3%-11%) symptomatic pregnant women. Of the 26 affected fetuses or infants, 4 had microcephaly and no reported neuroimaging, 14 had microcephaly and brain abnormalities, and 4 had brain abnormalities without microcephaly; reported brain abnormalities included intracranial calcifications, corpus callosum abnormalities, abnormal cortical formation, cerebral atrophy, ventriculomegaly, hydrocephaly, and cerebellar abnormalities. Infants with microcephaly (18/442) represent 4% of completed pregnancies. Birth defects were reported in 9 of 85 (11%; 95% CI, 6%-19%) completed pregnancies with maternal symptoms or exposure exclusively in the first trimester (or first trimester and periconceptional period), with no reports of birth defects among fetuses or infants with prenatal exposure to Zika virus infection only in the second or third trimesters. Conclusions and Relevance: Among pregnant women in the United States with completed pregnancies and laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika infection, 6% of fetuses or infants had evidence of Zika-associated birth defects, primarily brain abnormalities and microcephaly, whereas among women with first-trimester Zika infection, 11% of fetuses or infants had evidence of Zika-associated birth defects. These findings support the importance of screening pregnant women for Zika virus exposure.

Forrester MB. Comparison of poisonings managed at military and Veterans Administration hospitals reported to Texas poison centers. Public Health 2017;142:50-55.
Objectives: There is little information on poisonings managed at military and Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. This investigation described and compared poisonings reported to Texas poison centers that were managed at military and VA hospitals. Study design: Retrospective analysis of poison centre data. Methods: Cases were poisonings among patients aged 18 years or more reported to Texas poison centers during 2000-2015 where management occurred at a military or VA hospital. The distribution of exposures for various demographic and clinical factors was determined for military and veterans hospitals and comparisons were made between the two groups. Results: There were 4353 and 1676 poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals, respectively. Males accounted for 50.5% of the military hospital patients and 84.9% of the VA hospital patients. The mean age for military hospital patients was 31 years and for VA hospital patients was 50 years. The proportion of poisonings managed at military hospitals and VA hospitals, respectively, were intentional (70.0% vs 64.1%), particularly suspected attempted suicide (57.3% vs 47.7%), and unintentional (25.0% vs 30.5%). More than one substance was reported in 37.7% of military and 33.2% of VA hospital poisonings. The most commonly reported substance categories for poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals, respectively, were analgesics (28.4% vs 19.7%), sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (24.7% vs 23.4%), antidepressants (18.7% vs 19.7%) and alcohol (11.3% vs 10.6%). Conclusions: A number of differences were observed between poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals. These differing patterns of poisonings may need to be taken into account in the education, prevention and treatment of poisonings at these hospitals and among the populations they serve.

Last updated May 16, 2017