Robert Koch Institut

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology
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Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring
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Department of Epidemiology and Health Reporting
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  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a growing body of evidence on the risks and benefits of influenza vaccination in various target groups. Systematic reviews are of particular importance for policy decisions. However, their methodological quality can vary considerably. To investigate the methodological quality of systematic reviews on influenza vaccination (efficacy, effectiveness, safety) and to identify influencing factors. A systematic literature search on influenza vaccination was performed, using MEDLINE, EMBASE and three additional databases (1990-2013). Review characteristics were extracted and the methodological quality of the reviews was evaluated using the assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR) tool. U-test, Kruskal-Wallis test, chi-square test, and multivariable linear regression analysis were used to assess the influence of review characteristics on AMSTAR-score. Fourty-six systematic reviews fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Average methodological quality was high (median AMSTAR-score: 8), but variability was large (AMSTAR range: 0-11). Quality did not differ significantly according to vaccination target group. Cochrane reviews had higher methodological quality than non-Cochrane reviews (p=0.001). Detailed analysis showed that this was due to better study selection and data extraction, inclusion of unpublished studies, and better reporting of study characteristics (all p<0.05). In the adjusted analysis, no other factor, including industry sponsorship or journal impact factor had an influence on AMSTAR score. Systematic reviews on influenza vaccination showed large differences regarding their methodological quality. Reviews conducted by the Cochrane collaboration were of higher quality than others. When using systematic reviews to guide the development of vaccination recommendations, the methodological quality of a review in addition to its content should be considered.
    Vaccine 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical evaluation in a small animal model would help the development of gene therapies and vaccines based on foamy virus vectors. The establishment of persistent, non-pathogenic infection with the prototype foamy virus in mice and rabbits has been described previously. To extend this spectrum of available animal models, hamsters were inoculated with infectious cell supernatant or bioballistically with a foamy virus plasmid. In addition, a novel foamy virus from a rhesus macaque was isolated and characterised genetically. Hamsters and mice were infected with this new SFVmac isolate to evaluate whether hamsters are also susceptible to infection. Both hamsters and mice developed humoral responses to either virus subtype. Virus integration and replication in different animal tissues were analysed by PCR and co-cultivation. The results strongly indicate establishment of a persistent infection in hamsters. These studies provide a further small animal model for studying FV-based vectors in addition to the established models.
    Virology 01/2014; 448C:65-73.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most frequent vector-borne disease in Germany. For more than 10 years, data from mandatory notifications have been available from 6 federal states in the eastern part of Germany. A common case definition was applied. Clinical manifestations of erythema migrans, neuroborreliosis (radiculoneuritis, cranial neuritis, meningitis), and Lyme arthritis were notifiable. From 2009 to 2012, altogether 18,894 cases were notified. The overall incidence varied between 34.9 cases/100,000 inhabitants in 2009 and 19.54 cases/100,000 persons in 2012. LB in eastern Germany showed a pronounced seasonality with a peak in August. Decreasing as well as increasing trends were observed in different federal states. Females predominated among all cases (55.3%). The age distribution was bimodal with incidence peaks in children 5–9 years old (32.4 cases/100,000 persons in 2011) and in adults aged 60–69 years (56.7 cases/100,000 persons in 2011). Erythema migrans affected 95.4% of the patients and acute neuroborreliosis 3.3%. Among the latter, the most common manifestation was radiculoneuritis (n = 316). Neuritis cranialis was more common in children than in adults (p < 0.01). The same was true for meningitis (p < 0.01). Altogether 2.0% of the LB cases developed Lyme arthritis. LB has a significant disease burden in the study area. Different levels of under-ascertainment in the surveillance system could explain parts of the differences in the incidence. Furthermore, there may be discrepancies in disease awareness among patients and physicians. Changes in time and differences among geographical regions could result from variations in risk factors related to human behaviour (e.g., outdoor activity). Additionally, vector-related risk factors may have varied (e.g., landscape, climate). Public health strategies with a particular focus on the high-incidence age groups should promote daily checks for ticks and prompt removal of ticks after exposure to avoid infection. Physicians should be able to recognize LB patients with early manifestations and promptly treat those appropriately.
    Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 01/2014;


  • Address
    Nordufer 20, 13353, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Head of Institution
    Prof. Dr. Reinhard Burger
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Top publications last week by downloads

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine 09/2006; ISBN: 9783527600908

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