1,313 research outputs found

    Adolescents’ responses to the promotion and flavouring of e-cigarettes

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    Objectives The purpose of the study is to examine adolescents’ awareness of e-cigarette marketing and investigate the impact of e-cigarette flavour descriptors on perceptions of product harm and user image. Methods Data come from the 2014 Youth Tobacco Policy Survey, a cross-sectional in-home survey conducted with 11–16 year olds across the UK (n = 1205). Adolescents’ awareness of e-cigarette promotion, brands, and flavours was assessed. Perceptions of product harm, and likely user of four examples of e-cigarette flavours was also examined. Results Some participants had tried e-cigarettes (12 %) but regular use was low (2 %) and confined to adolescents who had also smoked tobacco. Most were aware of at least one promotional channel (82 %) and that e-cigarettes came in different flavours (69 %). Brand awareness was low. E-cigarettes were perceived as harmful (M = 3.54, SD = 1.19) but this was moderated by product flavours. Fruit and sweet flavours were perceived as more likely to be tried by young never smokers than adult smokers trying to quit (p < 0.001). Conclusions There is a need to monitor the impact of future market and regulatory change on youth uptake and perceptions of e-cigarettes

    Incidence, healthcare-seeking behaviours, antibiotic use and natural history of common infection syndromes in England: results from the Bug Watch community cohort study

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    Background: Better information on the typical course and management of acute common infections in the community could inform antibiotic stewardship campaigns. We aimed to investigate the incidence, management, and natural history of a range of infection syndromes (respiratory, gastrointestinal, mouth/dental, skin/soft tissue, urinary tract, and eye). Methods: Bug Watch was an online prospective community cohort study of the general population in England (2018–2019) with weekly symptom reporting for 6 months. We combined symptom reports into infection syndromes, calculated incidence rates, described the proportion leading to healthcare-seeking behaviours and antibiotic use, and estimated duration and severity. Results: The cohort comprised 873 individuals with 23,111 person-weeks follow-up. The mean age was 54 years and 528 (60%) were female. We identified 1422 infection syndromes, comprising 40,590 symptom reports. The incidence of respiratory tract infection syndromes was two per person year; for all other categories it was less than one. 194/1422 (14%) syndromes led to GP (or dentist) consultation and 136/1422 (10%) to antibiotic use. Symptoms usually resolved within a week and the third day was the most severe. Conclusions: Most people reported managing their symptoms without medical consultation. Interventions encouraging safe self-management across a range of acute infection syndromes could decrease pressure on primary healthcare services and support targets for reducing antibiotic prescribing

    A 30-Min Nucleic Acid Amplification Point-of-Care Test for Genital Chlamydia trachomatis Infection in Women: A Prospective, Multi-center Study of Diagnostic Accuracy.

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    BACKGROUND: Rapid Point-Of-Care Tests for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) may reduce onward transmission and reproductive sexual health (RSH) sequelae by reducing turnaround times between diagnosis and treatment. The io® single module system (Atlas Genetics Ltd.) runs clinical samples through a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)-based CT cartridge, delivering results in 30min. METHODS: Prospective diagnostic accuracy study of the io® CT-assay in four UK Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM)/RSH clinics on additional-to-routine self-collected vulvovaginal swabs. Samples were tested "fresh" within 10days of collection, or "frozen" at -80°C for later testing. Participant characteristics were collected to assess risk factors associated with CT infection. RESULTS: CT prevalence was 7.2% (51/709) overall. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the io® CT assay were, respectively, 96.1% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 86.5-99.5), 97.7% (95%CI: 96.3-98.7), 76.6% (95%CI: 64.3-86.2) and 99.7% (95%CI: 98.9-100). The only risk factor associated with CT infection was being a sexual contact of an individual with CT. CONCLUSIONS: The io® CT-assay is a 30-min, fully automated, high-performing NAAT currently CE-marked for CT diagnosis in women, making it a highly promising diagnostic to enable specific treatment, initiation of partner notification and appropriately intensive health promotion at the point of care

    Pharmacy Participation in Non-Prescription Syringe Sales in Los Angeles and San Francisco Counties, 2007

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    Increasing sterile syringe access for injection drug users (IDUs) is one way to prevent HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission in this population. In 2005, California Senate Bill 1159 allowed counties to adopt the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project (DPDP). Where enacted, the DPDP allows pharmacies that register with the county to sell up to ten syringes to adults without a prescription. In the current study, we describe pharmacy participation in nonprescription syringe sales (NPSS) in two counties in California and examine factors associated with NPSS. Telephone and in-person interviews were conducted in Los Angeles (LA) and San Francisco (SF) with 238 pharmacies in 2007 (n = 67 in SF; n = 171 in LA). Quantitative survey items captured pharmacy registration with the county, pharmacy policies/practices, episodes and conditions of NPSS and refusals to sell, potential negative consequences of NPSS, and staff attitudes regarding HIV and HCV prevention for IDUs. Overall, 42% of pharmacies reported NPSS (28% in LA and 81% in SF), although only 34% had registered with the county (17% in LA and 76% in SF). Many pharmacies required proof of a medical condition (80% in LA and 30% in SF) and refused NPSS if the customer was a suspected IDU (74% in LA, 33% in SF). Few negative consequences of NPSS were reported. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, we found that the odds of NPSS were significantly higher among pharmacists who thought syringe access was important for preventing HIV among IDUs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.95; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.10–7.92], were chain pharmacies (AOR = 12.5; 95% CI = 4.55–33.33), and were located in SF (AOR = 4.88; 95% CI = 1.94–12.28). These results suggest that NPSS were influenced by pharmacists’ perception. NPSS might be increased through greater educational efforts directed at pharmacists, particularly those in non-chain pharmacies

    A 30-minute nucleic acid amplification point-of-care test for genital<i>Chlamydia trachomatis</i>infection in women: a prospective, multi-centre study of diagnostic accuracy

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    ABSTRACTBackgroundRapid Point-Of-Care Tests (POCTs) forChlamydia trachomatis(CT) may reduce onward transmission and reproductive sexual health (RSH) sequelae by reducing turnaround times between diagnosis and treatment. The io®single module system (Atlas Genetics Ltd) runs clinical samples through a microfluidic CT cartridge, delivering results in 30 minutes. We evaluated its performance on female genital samples in four UK Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM)/RSH clinics.MethodsProspective diagnostic accuracy study, using BD ProbeTec CT/GC assay as the routine clinic nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) as the initial comparator test, and the QIAgen Artus CT assay to resolve discrepancies. In these instances, the reference standard was defined as the resolved result when two out of three assay results concurred. Female participants aged ≥16 provided additional-to-routine self-collected vulvovaginal swabs. Samples were tested fresh with the io®CT assay within 7 days of collection, or were frozen at −80°C for later testing. Participant clinical, demographic and behavioural characteristics were collected to assess risk factors associated with CT infection.ResultsOf 785 participants recruited, final analyses were conducted on 709 (90.3%). CT prevalence was 7.2% (51/709) overall. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the io®CT assay were, respectively, 96.1% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 86.5-99.5), 97.7% (95%CI: 96.3-98.7), 76.6% (95%CI: 64.3-86.2) and 99.7% (95%CI: 98.9-100). There was no significant difference in performance measures between fresh and frozen samples, or between symptomatic and asymptomatic participants (p&gt;0.05). The only risk factor associated with CT infection was being a sexual contact of an individual with CT.ConclusionsThe io®CT-assay is the only 30-minute, fully automated, high-performing NAAT currently CE-marked for CT diagnosis in women, making it a highly promising diagnostic to enable specific treatment, initiation of partner notification and appropriately intensive health promotion at the point of care. Future research is required to evaluate acceptability by clinicians and patients in GUM/RSH clinics, impact on clinical pathways and patient management, and cost-effectiveness.</jats:sec

    Multimodal imaging needle combining optical coherence tomography and fluorescence for imaging of live breast cancer cells labeled with a fluorescent analog of tamoxifen

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    Significance: Imaging needles consist of highly miniaturized focusing optics encased within a hypodermic needle. The needles may be inserted tens of millimeters into tissue and have the potential to visualize diseased cells well beyond the penetration depth of optical techniques applied externally. Multimodal imaging needles acquire multiple types of optical signals to differentiate cell types. However, their use has not previously been demonstrated with live cells.Aim: We demonstrate the ability of a multimodal imaging needle to differentiate cell types through simultaneous optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescence imaging.Approach: We characterize the performance of a multimodal imaging needle. This is paired with a fluorescent analog of the therapeutic drug, tamoxifen, which enables cell-specific fluorescent labeling of estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer cells. We perform simultaneous OCT and fluorescence in situ imaging on MCF-7 ER+ breast cancer cells and MDA-MB-231 ER-cells. Images are compared against unlabeled control samples and correlated with standard confocal microscopy images.Results: We establish the feasibility of imaging live cells with these miniaturized imaging probes by showing clear differentiation between cancerous cells.Conclusions: Imaging needles have the potential to aid in the detection of specific cancer cells within solid tissue

    Habitat correlates of Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola abundance in a declining resident population

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    In Europe, woodland bird populations have been declining since at least the 1970s, and in Britain, around one third of woodland bird species have undergone declines over this period. Habitat change has been highlighted as a possible cause, but for some species clear evidence of this is lacking owing to an incomplete knowledge of the species’ habitat requirements. Here, we analyse national data to explain the variation in abundance of a declining woodland bird, the Eurasian Woodcock. A nationwide, species-specific survey of breeding Woodcock was conducted in 2003 and 2013 at 807 and 823 randomly selected 1-km squares respectively. The counts were compared with a range of landscape-scale habitat variables as well as local habitat measures recorded by surveyors, using generalised linear mixed models. Habitat variables were measured at a variety of spatial scales using ring buffers, although our analyses show that strong collinearity between scales hinders interpretation. At large landscape scales, breeding Woodcock abundance was correlated with total woodland area and the way this interacted with woodland type. Woodcock were more abundant in woods containing a more heterogeneous mix of woodland habitat types and in woods further from urban areas. On a smaller spatial scale, Woodcock were less likely to be found at sites dominated by beech Fagus spp. and more likely to occur in woods containing birch Betula spp. The Woodcock’s association with large, heterogeneous woods and the apparent attractiveness of certain woodland types present the most relevant topics for future research into the role of habitat change in long-term declines

    Access to Sterile Syringes through San Francisco Pharmacies and the Association with HIV Risk Behavior among Injection Drug Users

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    Increased options for syringe acquisition and disposal have been associated with reductions in high-risk behaviors. This study determined the extent of pharmacy uptake in accessing syringes among injection drug users (IDUs) and estimated associations between pharmacy uptake and safer injection/disposal practices. Two years after the implementation of California’s Disease Prevention Demonstration Project, which removed restrictions to non-prescription syringe sales through pharmacies with local authorization, IDUs were recruited through street outreach in San Francisco and interviewed regarding recent syringe acquisition, use, and disposal. The sample of 105 persons included a high proportion of men (67%), people of color (49%), and homeless persons (71%). The most common syringe source was a syringe exchange program (SEP) (80%), with pharmacies being accessed by 39% of respondents. The most commonly cited source of disposal was a SEP (65%), with very few reports of pharmacy disposal (2%). Adjusted analysis showed that unsuccessful attempts to purchase syringes at a pharmacy increased the odds of both injecting with a used syringe and giving away a used syringe. Using a SEP decreased the odds of unsafe injection and disposal practices. Thus, 2 years after the initiation of the California Disease Prevention Demonstration Project, results from this small study suggest that SEPs still provide the majority of syringe distribution and disposal services to San Francisco IDUs; however, pharmacies now augment syringe access. In addition, unsafe injection behavior is reported more often among those who do not use these syringe sources. These results are consistent with prior studies in suggesting that increasing the availability of syringes through SEPs and pharmacies, and developing bridges between them, may further reduce syringe-related risk
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