[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most childhood asthma in poor populations in Latin America is not associated with aeroallergen sensitization, an observation that could be explained by the attenuation of atopy by chronic helminth infections or effects of age.
To explore the effects of geohelminth infections and age on atopy, wheeze, and the association between atopy and wheeze.
A case-control study was done in 376 subjects (149 cases and 227 controls) aged 7-19 years living in rural communities in Ecuador. Wheeze cases, identified from a large cross-sectional survey, had recent wheeze and controls were a random sample of those without wheeze. Atopy was measured by the presence of allergen-specific IgE (asIgE) and skin prick test (SPT) responses to house dust mite and cockroach. Geohelminth infections were measured in stools and anti-Ascaris IgE in plasma.
The fraction of recent wheeze attributable to anti-Ascaris IgE was 45.9%, while those for SPT and asIgE were 10.0% and 10.5% respectively. The association between atopy and wheeze was greater in adolescents than children. Although Anti-Ascaris IgE was strongly associated with wheeze (adj. OR 2.24 (95% CI 1.33-3.78, P = 0.003) and with asIgE (adj. OR 5.34, 95% CI 2.49-11.45, P < 0.001), the association with wheeze was independent of asIgE. There was some evidence that the association between atopy and wheeze was greater in uninfected subjects compared with those with active geohelminth infections.
Atopy to house dust mite and cockroach explained few wheeze cases in our study population, while the presence of anti-Ascaris IgE was an important risk factor. Our data provided only limited evidence that active geohelminth infections attenuated the association between atopy and wheeze in endemic areas or that age modified this association. The role of allergic sensitization to Ascaris in the development of wheeze, independent of atopy, requires further investigation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) by applying it to children and adolescents living in Salvador, Bahia. Methods: The validity of this FFQ with 98 food items was investigated among 108 children and adolescents who were selected from a sample of 1445 that had been planned for a study on the risk factors for asthma and other allergic diseases. The adults responsible for these children and adolescents gave responses for a 24-hour recall (R24h) and an FFQ. The average energy and nutrient values from the FFQ were compared with those from the R24h by means of the paired t test and Pearson correlation coefficients. The concordance was evaluated using the Bland-Altman method and kappa statistics. Results: The energy and nutrient intake estimated using the FFQ was significantly higher than what was obtained using the R24h. The correlation coefficients adjusted for energy were statistically significant for protein, fat, vitamin C and zinc. The weighted kappa values ranged from 0.06 for vitamin A (p = 0.24) to 0.34 for energy (p < 0.00). The results from the Bland-Altman plots for lipid, protein and zinc showed the most significant validity parameters, and zinc was found to show the best concordance. Conclusion: The results suggest that the FFQ showed satisfactory validity for use in studies involving children and adolescents.
Nutricion hospitalaria: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Nutricion Parenteral y Enteral 08/2012; 27(4):1114-9. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human beings are the main reservoir of the causative agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae. In the Americas, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) also act as a reservoir for the bacillus. In the state of Ceará (CE), which is located in Northeast Brazil and is an endemic area of leprosy, there are several species of armadillos, including D. novemcinctus and Euphractus sexcinctus (six-banded armadillo). Contact between humans and armadillos occur mainly through hunting, cleaning, preparing, cooking and eating. This study identified M. leprae DNA in the two main species of armadillos found in Northeast Brazil. A total of 29 wild armadillos (27 D. novemcinctus and 2 E. sexcinctus) were captured in different environments of CE countryside. Samples from the ear, nose, liver and spleen from each of these animals were tested by a nested M. leprae-specific repetitive element polymerase chain reaction assay. The samples that tested positive were confirmed by DNA sequencing. M. leprae was detected in 21% (6/29) of the animals, including five D. novemcinctus and one E. sexcinctus. This is the first Brazilian study to identify the presence of a biomarker of M. leprae in wild armadillos (D. novemcinctus and E. sexcinctus) in a leprosy hyperendemic area where there is continuous contact between humans and armadillos.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 01/2012; 107(Suppl 1):209-213. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The log-Burr XII regression model for grouped survival data is evaluated in the presence of many ties. The methodology for grouped survival data is based on life tables, where the times are grouped in k intervals, and we fit discrete lifetime regression models to the data. The model parameters are estimated by maximum likelihood and jackknife methods. To detect influential observations in the proposed model, diagnostic measures based on case deletion, so-called global influence, and influence measures based on small perturbations in the data or in the model, referred to as local influence, are used. In addition to these measures, the total local influence and influential estimates are also used. We conduct Monte Carlo simulation studies to assess the finite sample behavior of the maximum likelihood estimators of the proposed model for grouped survival. A real data set is analyzed using a regression model for grouped data.
Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics 01/2012; 22(1):141-59. · 0.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated individual and contextual factors associated with the duration of diarrhoeal episodes in 693 young children living in a large Brazilian city who were followed-up for at least 3 months. The outcome is analysed as a continuous variable, by means of a hierarchical conceptual model organizing the factors in meaningful blocks. A total of 2397 episodes were recorded (median duration 2 days, interquartile range 1-3 days). Low percentage of households connected to the sewerage system in the neighbourhood, low family purchasing power, high agglomeration, mother aged <19 years, low zinc content in child's diet, and episode severity were significantly associated with longer duration (0·26-0·69 days more). Purchasing power effect was largely mediated by environmental conditions, characteristics of the child, and hygienic behaviour. Environmental conditions acted as a possible effect modifier, enhancing the effect on duration of diarrhoea of the child not having being vaccinated against measles or breastfed for >6 months.
Epidemiology and Infection 05/2011; 140(4):689-96. · 2.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, regression models are evaluated for grouped survival data when the effect of censoring time is considered in the model and the regression structure is modeled through four link functions. The methodology for grouped survival data is based on life tables, and the times are grouped in k intervals so that ties are eliminated. Thus, the data modeling is performed by considering the discrete models of lifetime regression. The model parameters are estimated by using the maximum likelihood and jackknife methods. To detect influential observations in the proposed models, diagnostic measures based on case deletion, which are denominated global influence, and influence measures based on small perturbations in the data or in the model, referred to as local influence, are used. In addition to those measures, the local influence and the total influential estimate are also employed. Various simulation studies are performed and compared to the performance of the four link functions of the regression models for grouped survival data for different parameter settings, sample sizes and numbers of intervals. Finally, a data set is analyzed by using the proposed regression models.
Computational Statistics & Data Analysis. 01/2011;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The low prevalence of allergic disease in the rural tropics has been attributed to the protective effects of chronic helminth infections. There is concern that treatment-based control programmes for these parasites may lead to an increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases.
We measured the impact of 15-17 years of anthelmintic treatment with ivermectin on the prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity and allergic symptoms in school-age children.
The prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity, exercise-induced bronchospasm and allergic symptoms was compared between school-age children living in communities that had received community-based treatments with ivermectin (for onchocerciasis control) for a period of 15-17 years with those living in geographically adjacent communities that had received no ivermectin.
The prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity was double in children living in treated communities compared with those in untreated communities (16.7% vs. 8.7%, adjusted OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.50-2.94, P<0.0001), and the effect was mediated partly by a reduced prevalence of Trichuris trichiura among treated children. Ivermectin treatments were associated with an increased prevalence of recent eczema symptoms (adjusted OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.05-4.78, P=0.04) but not symptoms of asthma or rhino-conjunctivitis. The effect on eczema symptoms was not associated with reductions in geohelminth infections.
Long-term periodic treatments with ivermectin were associated with an increased prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity. There was some evidence that treatment was associated with an increased prevalence of recent eczema symptoms but not those of asthma or rhino-conjunctivitis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The steadily growing epidemic of diabetes mellitus poses a threat for global tuberculosis (TB) control. Previous studies have identified an important association between diabetes mellitus and TB. However, these studies have limitations: very few were carried out in low-income countries, with none in Africa, raising uncertainty about the strength of the diabetes mellitus-TB association in these settings, and many critical questions remain unanswered. An expert meeting was held in November 2009 to discuss where there was sufficient evidence to make firm recommendations about joint management of both diseases, to address research gaps and to develop a research agenda. Ten key research questions were identified, of which 4 were selected as high priority: (i) whether, when and how to screen for TB in patients with diabetes mellitus and vice versa; (ii) the impact of diabetes mellitus and non-diabetes mellitus hyperglycaemia on TB treatment outcomes and deaths, and the development of strategies to improve outcomes; (iii) implementation and evaluation of the tuberculosis 'DOTS' model for diabetes mellitus management; and (iv) the development and evaluation of better point-of-care diagnostic and monitoring tests, including measurements of blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) for patients with diabetes mellitus. Implementation of this research agenda will benefit the control of both diseases.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 06/2010; 15(6):659-63. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 2008-2013 World Health Organization (WHO) action plan on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) includes chronic respiratory diseases as one of its four priorities. Major chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) include asthma and rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, occupational lung diseases, sleep-disordered breathing, pulmonary hypertension, bronchiectiasis and pulmonary interstitial diseases. A billion people suffer from chronic respiratory diseases, the majority being in developing countries. CRDs have major adverse effects on the life and disability of patients. Effective intervention plans can prevent and control CRDs, thus reducing morbidity and mortality. A prioritised research agenda should encapsulate all of these considerations in the frame of the global fight against NCDs. This requires both CRD-targeted interventions and transverse NCD programmes which include CRDs, with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
European Respiratory Journal 03/2010; 36(5):995-1001. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The elucidation of factors that trigger the development of transient wheezing in early childhood may be an important step toward understanding the pathogenesis of asthma and other allergic diseases later in life. Transient wheezing has been mainly attributed to viral infections, although sensitisation to aeroallergens and food allergens may occur at an early age. In developing countries, intestinal helminthic infections have also been associated with allergy or atopy-related disorders.
The aim of this study was to explore the association of Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides infections with wheezing and atopy in early childhood.
A cross-sectional study using a Portuguese-language ISAAC phase I questionnaire, adapted for preschool-aged children, nested in a cohort study of childhood diarrhoea, was conducted on 682 children. Two faecal samples per child were examined for the presence of intestinal helminthic infection. IgE antibodies against three allergenic preparations (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Blomia tropicalis and common child food), as well as against A. lumbricoides antigens, were measured in a sub-sample of these children, whose parents allowed the procedure. Atopy was defined by the presence of levels of serum IgE antibodies ≥0.35 kU/L against at least one of the three tested allergenic preparations.
Active T. trichiura infection but not A. lumbricoides infection was positively associated with wheezing in the total studied children population [adjusted OR = 2.60; CI = 1.54;4.38] and in the atopic children sub-population [adjusted OR = 3.07; CI = 1.00;9.43]. The association with atopy was also positive and statistically significant only in the brute analysis [OR = 2.13; CI = 1.03;4.40]. Anti-A. lumbricoides IgE antibodies, but not current A. lumbricoides infection, were positively associated with wheezing in atopic children [adjusted OR = 2.01; CI = 1.00;4.50] and in non-atopic children [adjusted OR = 3.07; CI = 1.13;8.35] and it was also associated with atopy [adjusted OR = 7.29; CI = 3.90; 13.4]. On the other hands, reports of wheezing were not significantly associated with atopy.
These data corroborate previous studies showing that wheezing is predominantly associated with infection in early childhood and shows that anti-A. lumbricoides IgE antibodies, but not active Ascaris infections, are associated with wheezing and atopy. Additionally, the data demonstrate that T. trichiura infection may play a role in the pathogenesis of atopic wheezing in early childhood.
Respiratory research 01/2010; 11:114. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma is the third cause of hospitalisations due to clinical illnesses in Brazil. The Programme for Control of Asthma in Bahia (ProAR) leads an initiative in Salvador City (Brazil) to manage severe asthma for free. The aim of this study was to identify trends in asthma hospitalisation in the entire city and to evaluate the impact of ProAR. Information on asthma hospitalisations from 1998 to 2006 was collected. We analysed trends in Salvador (2.8 million inhabitants) before and after ProAR, taking pneumonia and myocardial infarction into account for local comparison. As an external control we obtained information on asthma from Recife, which is the most comparable Brazilian city. In Salvador, asthma hospital admissions declined by 82.3% (1998-2006). A greater proportion of this reduction (74%) occurred after 2003, in parallel with the implementation of ProAR. The reduction in asthma admissions in Recife was smaller. The rates of hospitalisation in 2006 were 2.25 per 10,000 inhabitants in Salvador and 17.06 in Recife. In Salvador, we found an inverse correlation between the provision of medication for asthma and hospitalisation (-0.801; p<0.0001). A rapid reduction in asthma admissions in the entire city of Salvador was associated with ProAR, a public health intervention targeting severe asthma.
European Respiratory Journal 07/2009; 35(3):515-21. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute gastroenteritis caused by viruses is one of the leading causes of infantile morbidity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of human caliciviruses of the genera norovirus and sapovirus in children up to 3 years of age with acute gastroenteritis from low-income communities in the city of Salvador, Brazil. This study is an extension of previous work carried out to establish the profile of the most prevalent enteric pathogens present in these communities. In this report, 139 fecal samples, collected from July 2001 to January 2002 were analyzed by RT-PCR and 13 (9%) were positive for human caliciviruses. By sequencing, seven isolates were characterized as norovirus genogroup GII and one as sapovirus genotype GII/1. Sequencing of the previously detected group-A rotaviruses and human astroviruses was also performed and revealed the circulation of rotavirus group A genotypes G1P and G9P, and human astrovirus genotypes 6, 7, and 8. No mixed infection was observed. Community-based studies provide geographically representative information on disease burden. However, there are only a few reports in developing countries concerning the genotypes of the most important gastroenteric viruses detected in such communities. The present findings demonstrate the wide diversity of genotypes of the most important viruses responsible for acute gastroenteritis circulating in low-income communities.
Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofisica ... [et al.] 06/2009; 42(5):438-44. · 1.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the direct and indirect costs of severe asthma and the economic impact of its management to low-income families in Salvador, Brazil.
One hundred and ninety-seven patients with severe asthma and referred to a state-funded asthma center providing free treatment were evaluated. At registration, they were asked about family cost-events in the previous year and had a baseline assessment of lung function, symptoms and quality of life. During the subsequent year, they were reassessed prospectively.
One hundred-eighty patients concluded a 12-month follow-up. Eighty-four percent were female patients, and the median family income was US$ 2955/year. Forty-seven percent of family members had lost their jobs because of asthma. Total cost of asthma management took 29% of family income. After proper treatment, asthma control scores improved by 50% and quality of life by 74%. The income of the families increased by US$ 711/year, as their members went back to work. The total cost of asthma to the families was reduced by a median US$ 789/family/year. Consequently, an annual surplus of US$ 1500/family became available.
Family costs of severe asthma consumed over one-fourth of the family income of the underprivileged population in a middle-income country. Adequate management brings major economic benefit to individuals and families.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma has emerged as an important public health problem in many Latin American countries over the past decade. In Brazil and Costa Rica, the prevalence of asthma and associated morbidity is as great or greater as reported in traditional high prevalence countries such as the US, but remains neglected as a public health priority. Asthma in Latin America is associated particularly with underprivileged populations living in cities but remains relatively rare in many rural populations. The causes of asthma in Latin America are likely to be associated with urbanization, migration, and the adoption of a modern 'Westernized' lifestyle and environmental changes that follow these processes that include changes in diet, physical activity, hygiene, and exposures to allergens, irritants, and outdoor and indoor pollutants. Because of the enormous social, genetic, and environmental contrasts within and between Latin American countries, and the large differences in prevalence associated with these differences, the investigation of asthma in Latin America provides important research opportunities to identify the social and biological mechanisms that underlie asthma development. Asthma in Latin America poses enormous challenges for health policy makers, health services, and researchers to respond to and alleviate the growing burden of asthma disability, particularly among marginalized urban populations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well known that papers written in languages other than English have a great risk of being ignored simply because these languages are not accessible to the international scientific community. The objective of this paper is to facilitate the access to the public health and epidemiology literature available in Portuguese speaking countries. It was found that it is particularly concentrated in Brazil, with some few examples in Portugal and none in other Portuguese speaking countries. This literature is predominantly written in Portuguese, but also in other languages such as English or Spanish. The paper describes the several journals, as well as the bibliographic databases that index these journals and how to access them. Most journals provide open-access with direct links in the indexing databases. The importance of this scientific production for the development of epidemiology as a scientific discipline and as a basic discipline for public health practice is discussed. To marginalize these publications has implications for a more balanced knowledge and understanding of the health problems and their determinants at a world-wide level.
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 10/2008; 5:18. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Allergic diseases cause a large and increasing burden in developed countries and in urban centres in middle-income countries. The causes of this increase are unknown and, currently, there are no interventions to prevent the development of allergic diseases. The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ has tried to explain the increase through a reduction in the frequency of childhood infections causing a failure to program the immune system for adequate immune regulation. Intestinal helminth parasites are prevalent in childhood in developing countries and are associated with a lower prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity and asthma.Objectives To investigate whether children who had intestinal helminth infections during early childhood have a lower prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity later in childhood.Methods We re-visited a population of 1055 children from whom stool samples had been collected for detection of intestinal helminth infections for another study, and collected new stool samples and performed allergen skin prick testing. Information on potential confounding variables was collected.Results Children with heavy infections with Trichuris trichiura in early childhood had a significantly reduced prevalence of allergen skin test reactivity in later childhood, even in the absence of T. trichiura infection at the time of skin testing in later childhood.Conclusion Early heavy infections with T. trichiura may protect against the development of allergen skin test reactivity in later childhood. Novel treatments to program immune-regulation in early childhood in a way that mimics the effects of early infections with T. trichiura may offer new strategies for the prevention of allergic disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retrospective studies provide evidence that rhinitis is associated with more severe asthma. The aim of this study was to evaluate prospectively whether rhinitis is a predictor of increased asthma severity.
Five hundred and fifty-seven patients with severe asthma were enrolled. During 1 year of follow-up, each patient was evaluated every 3 months with a record of emergency room visits and supply of topical corticosteroids for asthma and rhinitis. In the 1 year of follow-up visit, the patients were checked for rhinitis diagnosis, severity and answered questionnaires for asthma symptoms and quality of life.
Eighty-two (15%) patients had no rhinitis, 299 (54%) had mild rhinitis and 176 (31%) moderate/severe rhinitis. In logistic regression models, moderate/severe rhinitis was a predictor for any emergency room visit in the follow-up period [3.83 (2.00-7.35)], for the presence of uncontrolled asthma after 1 year of follow-up [12.68 (1.73-92.85)], for <10% improvement of the airway obstruction [2.94 (1.48-5.85)] and <50% reduction in the number of emergency room visits [2.90 (1.02-8.26)] in the year of follow-up. It was also associated with a smaller chance of more than 90% reduction in the number of emergency room visits in the year of follow-up [0.27 (0.12-0.60)]. In a multivariate linear regression model, severity of rhinitis was positively correlated with a score of asthma severity and inversely correlated to an index of quality of life.
In a population with severe asthma, moderate/severe rhinitis is a strong predictor for greater severity of asthma.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In survival analysis applications, the failure rate function may frequently present a unimodal shape. In such case, the log-normal or log-logistic distributions are used. In this paper, we shall be concerned only with parametric forms, so a location-scale regression model based on the Burr XII distribution is proposed for modeling data with a unimodal failure rate function as an alternative to the log-logistic regression model. Assuming censored data, we consider a classic analysis, a Bayesian analysis and a jackknife estimator for the parameters of the proposed model. For different parameter settings, sample sizes and censoring percentages, various simulation studies are performed and compared to the performance of the log-logistic and log-Burr XII regression models. Besides, we use sensitivity analysis to detect influential or outlying observations, and residual analysis is used to check the assumptions in the model. Finally, we analyze a real data set under log-Burr XII regression models.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified different diarrheagenic (DEC) Escherichia coli pathotypes isolated from 1,207 children with and without acute endemic diarrhea in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil collected as part of a case-control study. Since the identification of DEC cannot be based on only biochemical and culture criteria, we used a multiplex polymerase chain reaction developed by combining five specific primer pairs for Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Shiga toxin-producing E. coli/ Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (STEC/EHEC), Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) to detect these pathotypes simultaneously in a single-step reaction. In order to distinguish typical and atypical EPEC strains, these were tested for the presence of EAF plasmid. The prevalence of diarrheagenic E. coli in this sample of a global case-control study was 25.4% (259 patients) and 18.7% (35 patients) in the diarrhea group (1,020 patients) and the control group (187 patients), respectively. The most frequently isolated pathotype was EAEC (10.7%), followed by atypical EPEC (9.4%), ETEC (3.7%), and STEC (0.6%). Typical EPEC was detected only in one sample. The prevalence of the pathotypes studied in children with diarrhea was not significantly different from that in children without diarrhea.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 12/2007; 102(7):839-44. · 1.36 Impact Factor