Browsing by Subject "Infectious diseases"

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  • Larsson, D. G. Joakim; Andremont, Antoine; Bengtsson-Palme, Johan; Brandt, Kristian Koefoed; Husman, Ana Maria de Roda; Fagerstedt, Patriq; Fick, Jerker; Flach, Carl-Fredrik; Gaze, William H.; Kuroda, Makoto; Kvint, Kristian; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Manaia, Celia M.; Nielsen, Kaare Magne; Plant, Laura; Ploy, Marie-Cecile; Segovia, Carlos; Simonet, Pascal; Smalla, Kornelia; Snape, Jason; Topp, Edward; van Hengel, Arjon J.; Verner-Jeffreys, David W.; Virta, Marko P. J.; Wellington, Elizabeth M.; Wernersson, Ann-Sofie (2018)
    There is growing understanding that the environment plays an important role both in the transmission of antibiotic resistant pathogens and in their evolution. Accordingly, researchers and stakeholders world-wide seek to further explore the mechanisms and drivers involved, quantify risks and identify suitable interventions. There is a clear value in establishing research needs and coordinating efforts within and across nations in order to best tackle this global challenge. At an international workshop in late September 2017, scientists from 14 countries with expertise on the environmental dimensions of antibiotic resistance gathered to define critical knowledge gaps. Four key areas were identified where research is urgently needed: 1) the relative contributions of different sources of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment; 2) the role of the environment, and particularly anthropogenic inputs, in the evolution of resistance; 3) the overall human and animal health impacts caused by exposure to environmental resistant bacteria; and 4) the efficacy and feasibility of different technological, social, economic and behavioral interventions to mitigate environmental antibiotic resistance.(1)
  • Fredriksson-Ahomaa, Maria; London, Laura; Skrzypczak, Teresa; Kantala, Tuija; Laamanen, Ilona; Bistrom, Mia; Maunula, Leena; Gadd, Tuija (2020)
    The northern European wild boar population has increased during the last decade. Highest wild boar numbers in Finland have been reported in the southeastern part near the Russian border. Wild boars may be infected with several human and animal pathogens. In this study, we investigated the presence of important foodborne pathogens in wild boars hunted in 2016 in Finland using serology, PCR and culturing. Seroprevalence of Salmonella (38%) and Yersinia (56%) infections was high in wild boars. Antibodies to hepatitis E virus, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella were found in 18%, 9% and 9% of the wild boars, respectively. Trichinella antibodies were detected in 1% of the animals. We recorded no differences in the seroprevalence between males and females. However, Yersinia and T. gondii antibodies were detected significantly more often in adults than in young individuals. Listeria monocytogenes (48%) and stx-positive Escherichia coli (33%) determinants were frequently detected in the visceral organs (spleen and kidneys) by PCR. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1 and L. monocytogenes 2a and 4b were identified by culturing from the PCR-positive samples. Brucella suis biovar 2 was isolated from visceral organs. No African swine fever, classical swine fever or Aujeszky's disease were detected in the wild boars. Our study shows that wild boars are important reservoirs of foodborne pathogens.
  • Vakkilainen, Svetlana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH) is a rare chondrodysplasia with short stature, hair hypoplasia, variable degree of immunodeficiency and increased risk of malignancy. The non-coding RNA gene RMRP is mutated in CHH. The gene has multiple functions, including cell cycle regualtion. Several aspects of CHH remain inadequately explored, including the pathogenesis, detailed characteristics of immunologic phenotype, correlations of clinical and laboratory features, as well as disease course and prognosis. To address these questions, we recruited and carefully examined a large cohort of Finnish children and adults with CHH. We performed detailed immunologic evaluation, explored the prevalence of bronchiectasis and compared the diagnostic performance of lung high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We also conducted a prospective 30-year follow-up study to identify factors associated with adverse outcomes. In addition, we investigated the role of telomere machinery in the pathogenesis of CHH by measuring relative telomere length (RTL). Study patients (n=56) demonstrated specific abnormalities in B and T cell compartments: 1) decreased thymic naive, naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells; 2) increased activated CD4+, central memory CD4+ and effector memory CD8+ T cells; 3) normal regulatory T cells; 4) decreased naive, transitional and memory B cells; and 5) increased activated B cells. Specific antibody deficiency was demonstrated in the majority of patients immunized with unconjugated pneumococcal vaccine. No significant correlations were observed between clinical and laboratory features. Children with CHH demonstrated significantly shorter median RTL compared with healthy controls. HRCT showed bronchiectasis in 10/34 patients (29%), justifying lung evaluation also in those without apparent immunodeficiency. Lung MRI was comparable to HRCT in the assessment of bronchiectasis and could be implemented in the follow-up of lung changes. In the prospective study of 80 subjects with CHH, in a significant proportion of patients (17/79, 22%) clinical features of immunodeficiency progressed over time, including six cases of adult-onset immunodeficiency. Of the 15 subjects with non-skin malignancy, eight demonstrated no preceding symptoms of immunodeficiency. These findings call for careful follow-up and screening for cancer even in asymptomatic patients. Altogether 20/80 patients had died during the follow-up, and causes of death included pneumonia (n = 4), malignancy (n = 7) and pulmonary disease (n = 4). Increased mortality was associated with severe short stature at birth, Hirschsprung disease, pneumonia, autoimmunity and symptoms of combined immunodeficiency. In addition, warts in adulthood and actinic keratosis were associated with the development of skin cancer. The study findings should be considered when establishing management guidelines for patients with CHH.
  • Tiittala, Paula; Tuomisto, Karolina; Puumalainen, Taneli; Lyytikäinen, Outi; Ollgren, Jukka; Snellman, Olli; Helve, Otto (2018)
    Background: Infectious disease screening of migrants at increased risk is a feature of national infection prevention and control measures. Asylum seekers in Finland are offered screening of tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) and syphilis based on individual risk assessment. We aimed to evaluate the public health response to a large influx of asylum seekers to Finland in 2015-2016 with respect to national guidelines on initial health services and infectious disease screening. Methods: We used immigration and healthcare procurement data for all 38,134 asylum seekers to Finland during 2015-2016 to assess the implementation, timing and yields of infectious disease screening. Results: The coverage of pulmonary TB screening was 71.6% [95% CI 71.1-72.0%] and that of hepatitis B, HIV or syphilis 60. 6% [60.1-61.1%] among those eligible for screening. The estimated average delay from arrival to pulmonary TB screening was 74 days for adults and 43 days for children. Delay to hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis screening was 91 days for adults and 47 days for children. The seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen positivity was 1.4% [95% CI 1.3-1.6%], HIV 0.3% [95% CI 0.1-0.4%] and Treponema pallidum specific antibodies 1.0% [95% CI 0.8-1.1%]. Data did not allow assessment of yields of pulmonary TB screening. Conclusions: Up to one third of asylum seekers were not reached by screening and screenings were delayed from target timeframes. Children, as a vulnerable population, were screened earlier than adults. To ensure higher screening coverage, infectious disease risks should be reassessed and screening completed at contacts to healthcare during the post-asylum phase of integration. The large influx of asylum seekers to Finland in 2015-2016 tested the country's public health preparedness. After action reviews of the public health response to the large migrant influx such as screening implementation can be used for evidence-based improvement of public health preparedness and guidelines for initial health services and infectious disease screening.
  • Tiittala, Paula; Tuomisto, Karolina; Puumalainen, Taneli; Lyytikäinen, Outi; Ollgren, Jukka; Snellman, Olli; Helve, Otto (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background Infectious disease screening of migrants at increased risk is a feature of national infection prevention and control measures. Asylum seekers in Finland are offered screening of tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) and syphilis based on individual risk assessment. We aimed to evaluate the public health response to a large influx of asylum seekers to Finland in 2015–2016 with respect to national guidelines on initial health services and infectious disease screening. Methods We used immigration and healthcare procurement data for all 38,134 asylum seekers to Finland during 2015–2016 to assess the implementation, timing and yields of infectious disease screening. Results The coverage of pulmonary TB screening was 71.6% [95% CI 71.1–72.0%] and that of hepatitis B, HIV or syphilis 60.6% [60.1–61.1%] among those eligible for screening. The estimated average delay from arrival to pulmonary TB screening was 74 days for adults and 43 days for children. Delay to hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis screening was 91 days for adults and 47 days for children. The seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen positivity was 1.4% [95% CI 1.3–1.6%], HIV 0.3% [95% CI 0.1–0.4%] and Treponema pallidum specific antibodies 1.0% [95% CI 0.8–1.1%]. Data did not allow assessment of yields of pulmonary TB screening. Conclusions Up to one third  of asylum seekers were not reached by screening and screenings were delayed from target timeframes. Children, as a vulnerable population, were screened earlier than adults. To ensure higher screening coverage, infectious disease risks should be reassessed and screening completed at contacts to healthcare during the post-asylum phase of integration. The large influx of asylum seekers to Finland in 2015–2016 tested the country’s public health preparedness. After action reviews of the public health response to the large migrant influx such as screening implementation can be used for evidence-based improvement of public health preparedness and guidelines for initial health services and infectious disease screening.
  • Oksanen, Atte; Kaakinen, Markus; Latikka, Rita; Savolainen, Iina; Savela, Nina; Koivula, Aki (2020)
    Background: The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has dramatically changed societies in 2020. Since the end of February, Europe has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, but there are major country differences in both the spread of the virus and measures taken to stop the virus. Social psychological factors such as institutional trust could be important in understanding the development of the epidemic. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine country variations of COVID-19 mortality in Europe by analyzing social risk factors explaining the spread of the disease, restrictions and control measures, and institutional trust. Methods: The present study was based on a background analysis of European Social Survey data on 25 European countries (N=47,802). Multilevel mixed effects linear regression models focused on 84 days of the COVID-19 epidemic (January 22 to April 14, 2020) and modelled the daily COVID-19 mortality. Analysis focused on the impact of social relations, restrictions, and institutional trust within each country. Results: The spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has been fast everywhere, but the findings revealed significant differences between countries in COVID-19 mortality. Perceived sociability predicted higher COVID-19 mortality. Major differences between the 25 countries were found in reaction times to the crisis. Late reaction to the crisis predicted later mortality figures. Institutional trust was associated with lower COVID-19 mortality. Conclusions: The analyses demonstrated the importance of societal and social psychological factors in the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. By considering multiple perspectives, this study showed that country differences in Europe are major, and this will have an impact on how countries will cope with the ongoing crisis in the following months. The results indicated the importance of timely restrictions and cooperation with people. © Atte Oksanen.