(1/201) A new strategy for treating nets. Part 2: users' perceptions of efficacy and washing practices and their implications for insecticide dosage.

The conventional way to treat a mosquito net with pyrethroid insecticide is to apply a standard dosage every 6-12 months, and to avoid washing the net until just before retreatment. In some places, nets are normally washed much more often than this, and it may then be more appropriate to apply smaller amounts of insecticide after each wash. The choice of strategy must take into account not only biological effectiveness, but also users' perceptions of this effectiveness and their net-washing habits. We used focus groups to compare users' responses to nets treated with different dosages and chemicals. One hundred current net users in urban Dares-Salaam were each given a net that had been pretreated either with permethrin (200 or 500 mg/m2), or with lambdacyhalothrin (3 or 15 mg/m2), or with water. Neither participants nor investigators knew which group had received which treatment. Focus group discussions were held after 2, 8 and 12 weeks. Participants greatly preferred treated nets. Low doses were perceived to be less effective, especially after 8 and 12 weeks. After 12 weeks most participants had washed their nets, despite requests to the contrary Dirty nets were regarded as unhealthy and socially unacceptable. Few participants experienced side-effects or expressed fears about the safety of treatment. We conclude that asking people to refrain from washing their nets is unrealistic. A 'low-dose frequent-treatment' strategy of insecticide application may be more appropriate in the long run. At first, however, low doses give perceptibly inferior protection. An initial high (loading) dose, followed by frequent lower (maintenance) dosages, might solve this problem.  (+info)

(2/201) Rapid ethnographic assessment of breastfeeding practices in periurban Mexico City.

Before carrying out a breastfeeding promotion programme in a periurban area of Mexico City, we conducted a rapid ethnographic study to determine the factors associated with absence of exclusive breastfeeding. The responses to pilot interviews were used to develop a standardized questionnaire regarding reasons for infant feeding choice, sources of advice, and barriers to breastfeeding. We interviewed a random sample of 150 mothers with a child < 5 years of age; 136 (91%) of them had initiated breastfeeding; but only 2% exclusively breastfed up to 4 months. The mothers consistently stated that the child's nutrition, health, growth, and hygiene were the main reasons for the type of feeding selected; cost, comfort, and the husband's opinion were less important. Physicians were ranked as the most important source of advice. Reduction or cessation of breastfeeding occurred on the doctor's advice (68%); or when the mothers encountered local folk illnesses such as "coraje" (52%) or "susto" (54%), which are associated with anger or fright; or had "not enough milk" (62%) or "bad milk" (56%); or because of illness of the mother (56%) or child (43%). During childhood illnesses and conditions, breastfeeding was reduced and the use of supplementary foods was increased. This study emphasizes the importance of cultural values in infant feeding choices, defines specific barriers to breastfeeding, and provides a basis for interventions to promote exclusive breastfeeding in the study population.  (+info)

(3/201) Enterococci with glycopeptide resistance in turkeys, turkey farmers, turkey slaughterers, and (sub)urban residents in the south of The Netherlands: evidence for transmission of vancomycin resistance from animals to humans?

The number of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) relative to the total number of enterococci was determined in fecal samples from turkeys and three human populations in 1996, each with a different level of contact with turkeys, i.e., turkey farmers, turkey slaughterers, and (sub)urban residents. The percentage of VRE relative to the total enterococcal population (i.e., the degree of resistance) was low (2 to 4%) in all groups (except in six samples). No difference was observed between farmers who used avoparcin and those who did not. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns of the VRE isolates from the different populations were quite heterogeneous, but isolates with the same PFGE pattern were found among animal and human isolates, in addition to the isolates which were described previously (A. E. van den Bogaard, L. B. Jensen, and E. E. Stobberingh, N. Engl. J. Med. 337:1558-1559, 1997). Detailed molecular characterization of vanA-containing transposons from different isolates showed, that in addition to a previously reported strain, similar transposons were present in VRE isolates from turkeys and turkey farmers. Moreover, similar VanA elements were found not only in isolates with the same PFGE pattern but also in other strains from both humans and animals.  (+info)

(4/201) Infant pulmonary hemorrhage in a suburban home with water damage and mold (Stachybotrys atra).

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued guidelines regarding the potential toxic effect of indoor molds. We now report another case of an infant with pulmonary hemorrhage whose residential environmental assessment revealed the presence of the toxigenic mold Stachybotrys atra. We used a questionnaire to identify environmental factors that could predispose the home to fungal contamination. We collected air samples from multiple locations in the home that we felt would reflect areas of relevant exposure. Surface samples were collected with a piece of transparent tape for semiquantitative measurement of spores present. We classified spores into their respective genera based on shape, size, and color. We also measured mycotoxin levels. Air sampling revealed significantly elevated total spore counts in the patient's bedroom and in the attic. Aspergillus/Penicillium species were predominant. Stachybotrys spores were found in the air sampled in the patient's bedroom, as well as from surfaces sampled in the patient's closet and the attic ceiling. Additionally, a small patch of Stachybotrys-contaminated area in the closet ceiling was sent for mycotoxin analysis. This material proved to be highly toxigenic. As the link between the presence of Stachybotrys in the home and pulmonary hemorrhage in infants increases, further efforts should be made to educate physicians, health care providers, and new parents about the potential toxic effects of this mold.  (+info)

(5/201) Sex and race differences in cardiovascular disease risk factor changes in schoolchildren, 1975-1990: the Princeton School Study.

OBJECTIVES: This study was done to assess changes in obesity and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Black and White children from 1975 through 1990. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of body composition and CVD risk factors conducted in a school district as part of the Lipid Research Clinics (LRC) Program Prevalence Study (1973-1975) was compared with a later study (1989-1990) conducted in the same school district, which remained demographically stable. The studies included 1456 third- and fifth-grade students and 300 LRC subjects within the same age ranges. RESULTS: Students in the 1989-1990 study had a significantly higher mean body mass index (BMI), total blood cholesterol concentration, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures and marginally higher resting heart rates than those in the earlier study. The prevalence of obesity increased from 12.5% to 25.3%, and of hypercholesterolemia from 8.0% to 14.8%. Black females had the largest increase in BMI and resting heart rate and the highest prevalence of elevated total cholesterol in the 1989-1990 study. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest a secular trend toward increased obesity in children and portend the potential development of a public health problem that could reverse the recent decline in morbidity from CVD.  (+info)

(6/201) Characterization of Escherichia coli strains from cases of childhood diarrhea in provincial southwestern Nigeria.

In a study carried out in small-town and rural primary health care centers in southwestern Nigeria, 330 Escherichia coli strains isolated from 187 children with diarrhea and 144 apparently healthy controls were examined for virulence traits. Based on the results of colony blot hybridization, strains were categorized as enteropathogenic E. coli (1.8%), enterotoxigenic E. coli (2.4%), enteroinvasive E. coli (1.2%), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (0.6%), enteroaggregative E. coli (10.3%), diffusely adherent E. coli (7.9%), cell-detaching E. coli (6.9%), and cytolethal distending toxin-producing E. coli (0.9%). E. coli strains that hybridized with a Shiga toxin gene probe but lacked other characteristics usually present in enterohemorrhagic E. coli constituted 8.4% of the isolates. Ninety-seven E. coli isolates adhered to HEp-2 cells in an aggregative fashion but did not hybridize with any of the probes employed in the study. Overall the pathotypes, apart from cytolethal distending toxin-producing E. coli, were recovered both from children with diarrhea and from children without diarrhea, though to a lower extent from the healthy children. All diarrheagenic E. coli strains were associated with diarrhea (P < 0.02). Heat-stable-enterotoxin-producing enterotoxigenic E. coli showed significant association with diarrhea (P < 0.02), as did strains that demonstrated aggregative adherence to HEp-2 cells (P < 0.04), but not those that hybridized with the CVD432 enteroaggregative probe.  (+info)

(7/201) Contextual factors in substance use: a study of suburban and inner-city adolescents.

Objectives in this research were to examine contextual differences in correlates of substance use among high school students. The focus was on two broad categories of adjustment indices: personal psychopathology (internalizing and externalizing problems) and behaviors reflecting social competence (academic achievement, teacher-rated classroom behaviors, and peer acceptance or rejection). Associations between drug use and each of these constructs were examined in two sociodemographically disparate groups: teens from affluent, suburban families (n = 264), and low socioeconomic status adolescents from inner-city settings (n = 224). Results indicated that suburban youth reported significantly higher levels of substance use than inner-city youth. In addition, their substance use was more strongly linked with subjectively perceived maladjustment indices. Comparable negative associations involving grades and teacher-rated behaviors were found in both groups, and among suburban males only, substance use showed robust positive associations with acceptance by peers. Results are discussed in terms of developmental perspectives on adolescent deviance, contextual socializing forces, and implications for preventive interventions and treatment.  (+info)

(8/201) Seroepidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection in a Jamaican community.

We researched epidemiologic associations between environmental and demographic factors and prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in a suburban Jamaican community. Using a clustered sampling technique, 22 domestic yards enclosing 60 separate households were randomly selected from a local community. All household members (n = 346) were invited to participate following informed consent; the overall compliance rate was 58.9%. A commercial enzyme immunoassay (HMaCAP) was used to detect IgG antibodies raised against H. pylori. Environmental and demographic information was obtained by questionnaire. The seroprevalence of H. pylori was 69.9% (n = 202). Analysis of the independent variables revealed three major components: Component 1 described, collectively, good personal hygiene and sanitation, indoor water supply and absence of straying animals in the peridomestic area; Component 2 included older age, good personal hygiene and large yard size; Component 3 the presence of domestic animals (cats and dogs) and, again, large yard size. These three complexes explained 42.2% of the variability in the data set. Logistic regression showed that Components 2 and 3 were independently associated with H. pylori seropositivity, indicating that a combination of demographic, environmental and zoonotic factors is involved in the spread of H. pylori infections at the tropical community level.  (+info)