Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring
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Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology
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Department of Epidemiology and Health Reporting
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the relation between overweight/obesity and self-rated health (SRH), and whether this relation varies by social factors. Data was taken from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS, baseline 2003‒2006). For the definition of overweight and obesity, body mass index was calculated based on standardized height and weight measurements. SRH of adolescents (n = 6813, 11‒17 years) was raised with the question: "How would you describe your health in general?" The response categories were "very good", "good", "fair", "poor", and "very poor". We dichotomized these responses into: "very good/good" vs. "fair/poor/very poor". Socio-economic status (SES) in the family of origin and adolescents' school type were analyzed as modifying factors. Prevalence and age-adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated by binary logistic regression models. We found that overweight and obese boys and obese girls reported fair to very poor SRH more often than their normal weight peers, and that these differences were more apparent in early than late adolescence. In addition, the relation between obesity and SRH was similarly strong in all sub-groups, but there was seldom a relation between overweight and SRH. In summary, the results show that obesity is linked to poor SRH regardless of SES and school type, while the relation between overweight and SRH varies by social factors among adolescents.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 02/2015; 12(2):2262-76. DOI:10.3390/ijerph120202262
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    ABSTRACT: The HERV-K(HML-2) family contains the most recently integrated and best preserved endogenized proviral sequences in the human genome. All known elements have nevertheless been subjected to mutations or deletions that render expressed particles non-infectious. Moreover, these post-insertional mutations hamper the analysis of the general biological properties of this ancient virus family. The expression of consensus sequences and sequences of elements with reverted post-insertional mutations has therefore been very instrumental in overcoming this limitation. We investigated the particle morphology of a recently reconstituted HERV-K113 element termed oriHERV-K113 using thin-section electron microscopy (EM) and could demonstrate that strong overexpression by substitution of the 5'LTR for a CMV promoter and partial codon optimization altered the virus assembly type and morphology. This included a conversion from the regular C-type to an A-type morphology with a mass of cytoplasmic immature cores tethered to the cell membrane and the membranes of vesicles. Overexpression permitted the release and maturation of virions but reduced the envelope content. A weaker boost of virus expression by Staufen-1 was not sufficient to induce these morphological alterations.
    Viruses 11/2014; 6(11):4332-45. DOI:10.3390/v6114332
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    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 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.10.010


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

Nature 06/2015; 27. DOI:10.1038/nature14594
Journal of Medical Virology 06/2005; 76(2):137-42. DOI:10.1002/jmv.20338

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