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Puerto Rico

Gladys E Ibañez, Elaine Whitt, Tenesha Avent, Steve S Martin, Leah M Varga, Miguel A Cano, Daniel J O'Connell
OBJECTIVES: Latina women are disproportionately affected by HIV in the US, and account for 30% of all HIV infections in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The main risk for Latina women is heterosexual contact. Little is known about the relational and cultural factors that may impact women's HIV risk perception. This study aims to describe Latina women's perception of their HIV risk within a relational, cultural, and linguistic context. DESIGN: Eight focus groups of Latina women (n = 28), four English speaking groups and four Spanish speaking groups, were conducted between December 2013 and May 2014...
October 21, 2016: Ethnicity & Health
Danielle Bloch, Nicole M Roth, Elba V Caraballo, Jorge Muñoz-Jordan, Elizabeth Hunsperger, Aidsa Rivera, Janice Pérez-Padilla, Brenda Rivera Garcia, Tyler M Sharp
BACKGROUND: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes and is the cause of an acute febrile illness characterized by potentially debilitating arthralgia. After emerging in the Caribbean in late 2013, the first locally-acquired case reported to public health authorities in Puerto Rico occurred in May 2014. During June-August 2014, household-based cluster investigations were conducted to identify factors associated with infection, development of disease, and case reporting...
October 2016: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Yarelis Alvarado Reyes, Alexandra Perez, Gloria Rodriguez-Vega
OBJECTIVE: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk and adverse outcomes in many clinical settings including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and critically ill patients. Therefore we aimed to determine whether vitamin D deficiency had any effect in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) clinical outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective record review was conducted in a tertiary community hospital in Puerto Rico. Adult patients admitted to the neurosurgical intensive care unit (NICU) with a diagnosis of aSAH from January 2013 to July 2014, who had a 25-hydroxyvitamin-D level drawn, were included...
October 15, 2016: World Neurosurgery
Benedicte Bachelot, María Uriarte, Jess K Zimmerman, Jill Thompson, Jonathan W Leff, Ava Asiaii, Jenny Koshner, Krista McGuire
Our understanding of the long-lasting effects of human land use on soil fungal communities in tropical forests is limited. Yet, over 70% of all remaining tropical forests are growing in former agricultural or logged areas. We investigated the relationship among land use history, biotic and abiotic factors, and soil fungal community composition and diversity in a second-growth tropical forest in Puerto Rico. We coupled high-throughput DNA sequencing with tree community and environmental data to determine whether land use history had an effect on soil fungal community descriptors...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Efraín Rodríguez-Vigil, Migdalia Rodríguez-Chacón, José J Ruiz Valcarcel
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the current relationship between certain demographics and chemical factors, and the risk of cardiovascular complications, within a Puerto Rican population with diabetes mellitus. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 2075 patients with diabetes mellitus were retrospectively evaluated to determine the influence of certain demographics and chemical variables on the appearance of cardiovascular complications. A group of demographic and laboratory variables were analyzed...
2016: BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care
Zachary Hajian-Forooshani, Iris Saraeny Rivera Salinas, Estelí Jiménez-Soto, Ivette Perfecto, John Vandermeer
Recent theoretical work suggests that two ineffective control agents can provide effective biological control when coupled together. We explore the implications of this work with the system of coffee leaf rust (CLR), caused by the fungal agent Hemileiae vastatrix, and two of its natural enemies, a fungal pathogen (Lecanicillium lecanii) and a spore predator (Mycodiplosis hemileiae). Here we report on comparative surveys of the CLR and its two natural enemies in Mexico, where the CLR has been at epidemic status since 2012, and Puerto Rico, where the CLR is present but has not reached epidemic densities...
October 15, 2016: Environmental Entomology
Tasha M Santiago-Rodriguez, Gary A Toranzos, Javier A Arce-Nazario
Urbanization affects the microbial loading into tropical streams, but its impact on water quality varies across watersheds. Rainfall in tropical environments also complicates microbial dynamics due to high seasonal and annual variations. Understanding the dynamics of fecal contamination in tropical surface waters may be further hindered by limitations from the utilization of traditional microbial indicators. We measured traditional (Enterococcus spp. and Escherichia coli), as well as alternate (enterophages and coliphages) indicators of fecal contamination in a tropical watershed in Puerto Rico during a 1-year period, and examined their relationship with rainfall events across an urbanization gradient...
October 2016: Journal of Water and Health
Simona Panella, Maria Elena Marcocci, Ignacio Celestino, Sergio Valente, Clemens Zwergel, Domenica Donatella Li Puma, Lucia Nencioni, Antonello Mai, Anna Teresa Palamara, Giovanna Simonetti
AIM: Histone deacetylases (HDACs) regulate the life-cycle of several viruses. We investigated the ability of different HDAC-inhibitors, to interfere with influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34/H1N1 (PR8 virus) replication in Madin-Darby canine kidney and NCI cells. RESULTS: 3-(5-(3-Fluorophenyl)-3-oxoprop-1-en-1-yl)-1-methyl-1H-pyrrol-2-yl)-N-hydroxyacrylamide (MC1568) inhibited HDAC6/8 activity and PR8 virus replication, with decreased expression of viral proteins and their mRNAs...
October 14, 2016: Future Medicinal Chemistry
Shubha Rao, Puja Seth, Tanja Walker, Guoshen Wang, Mesfin S Mulatu, John Gilford, Emilio J German
The 2015 National HIV/AIDS Strategy provides an updated plan to address health disparities in communities at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (1,2). Hispanics/Latinos* are disproportionately affected by HIV in the United States. In 2014, 23% of HIV diagnoses were among Hispanics/Latinos, who represented 16% of the U.S. population (3). To examine HIV testing services, CDC analyzed 2014 data from the National HIV Prevention Program Monitoring and Evaluation (NHM&E) system submitted by 60 CDC-funded health departments(†) and 151 community-based organizations...
October 14, 2016: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Teresa K Yamana, Sasikiran Kandula, Jeffrey Shaman
In recent years, a number of systems capable of predicting future infectious disease incidence have been developed. As more of these systems are operationalized, it is important that the forecasts generated by these different approaches be formally reconciled so that individual forecast error and bias are reduced. Here we present a first example of such multi-system, or superensemble, forecast. We develop three distinct systems for predicting dengue, which are applied retrospectively to forecast outbreak characteristics in San Juan, Puerto Rico...
October 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Claus Hamann, MaryKate Martelon
BACKGROUND: History supports the staff and single serpent, the asklepian, as the symbol of healing and medicine, yet its confusion with the caduceus (a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it) persists. No population-based information on serpent symbol use exists. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of asklepian and caduceus display among Internet images of medical and health professional schools' emblems, and to compare asklepian and caduceus display between medical and health professional schools, examining the effects of school longevity and geographic location on symbol display...
May 25, 2016: JMIR Med Educ
Kay M Tomashek, Aidsa Rivera, Brenda Torres-Velasquez, Elizabeth A Hunsperger, Jorge L Munoz-Jordan, Tyler M Sharp, Irma Rivera, Dario Sanabria, Dianna M Blau, Renee Galloway, Jose Torres, Rosa Rodriguez, Javier Serrano, Carlos Chávez, Francisco Dávila, Janice Perez-Padilla, Esther M Ellis, Gladys Caballero, Laura Wright, Sherif R Zaki, Carmen Deseda, Edda Rodriguez, Harold S Margolis
BACKGROUND: Dengue is a leading cause of morbidity throughout the tropics; however, accurate population-based estimates of mortality rates are not available. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We established the Enhanced Fatal Acute Febrile Illness Surveillance System (EFASS) to estimate dengue mortality rates in Puerto Rico. Healthcare professionals submitted serum and tissue specimens from patients who died from a dengue-like acute febrile illness, and death certificates were reviewed to identify additional cases...
October 2016: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Julio Jiménez, Axel Ramos, Francisco E Ramos-Rivera, Clement Gwede, Gwendolyn P Quinn, Susan Vadaparampil, Thomas Brandon, Vani Simmons, Eida Castro
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Puerto Rico, suggesting a need for improved strategies, programs, and resources devoted to cancer prevention. Enhanced prevention needs in Puerto Rico were initially identified in pilot studies conducted by the Ponce School of Medicine (PSM) in collaboration with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC). In the current study, we used community engagement to identify specific needs in cancer prevention and education and strategies to create culturally attuned, effective cancer prevention education programs...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Cancer Education: the Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Education
Diana V Rodríguez-Rivera, Yerania Rodríguez-Navedo, Mariely Nieves-Plaza, Luis M Vilá
OBJECTIVE: To determine patient-reported outcomes measures in indigent patients with systemic lupus erythematosus receiving their healthcare through the Puerto Rico government managed care system and compare these measures with non-indigent patients treated in a private fee-for-service setting. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a cohort of 98 Puerto Ricans with systemic lupus erythematosus. Patients from the public group (n = 40) were treated in a university-based specialized systemic lupus erythematosus clinic and the private group (n = 58) in a community-based rheumatology practice...
2016: SAGE Open Medicine
Ekaterina A Burakova, Irina V Saranina, Nina V Tikunova, Zhanna K Nazarkina, Pavel P Laktionov, Lubov' A Karpinskaya, Vadim B Anikin, Vladimir V Zarubaev, Vladimir N Silnikov
A series of 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane derivatives differing by linker moiety was evaluated for activity against several strains of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including drug-resistant strains, one strain of fungus and influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1). All compounds exhibited high antibacterial activity against all bacteria except Proteus vulgaris. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of compound 1c with an o-phenylenebismethyl linker and compound 1e with a propylene aliphatic linker were found to be low and were comparable or better to the reference drug ciprofloxacin for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus...
September 28, 2016: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry
Xiang Xu, John R Greenland, Jeffrey E Gotts, Michael A Matthay, George H Caughey
Host-derived proteases can augment or help to clear infections. This dichotomy is exemplified by cathepsin L (CTSL), which helps Hendra virus and SARS coronavirus to invade cells, but is essential for survival in mice with mycoplasma pneumonia. The present study tested the hypothesis that CTSL protects mice from serious consequences of infection by the orthomyxovirus influenza A, which is thought to be activated by host-supplied proteases other than CTSL. Ctsl-/- mice infected with influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34(H1N1) had larger lung viral loads and higher mortality than infected Ctsl+/+ mice...
2016: PloS One
I L Indalao, T Sawabuchi, E Takahashi, H Kido
Severe influenza is characterized by a cytokine storm, and the influenza virus-cytokine-trypsin cycle is one of the important mechanisms of viral multiplication and multiple organ failure. The aim of this study was to define the key cytokine(s) responsible for trypsin upregulation. Mice were infected with influenza virus strain A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1) or treated individually or with a combination of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor α. The levels of these cytokines and trypsin in the lungs were monitored...
October 6, 2016: Archives of Virology
Melinda K Butterworth, Cory W Morin, Andrew C Comrie
BACKGROUND: Dengue fever, caused by a mosquito-transmitted virus, is an increasing health concern in the Americas. Meteorological variables such as temperature and precipitation can impact disease distribution and abundance through biophysical impacts on the vector and virus. Such tightly coupled links may facilitate further spread of dengue fever under a changing climate. In the southeastern United States, the dengue vector is widely established and exists on the current fringe of dengue transmission...
October 7, 2016: Environmental Health Perspectives
Brandon L Porter, Leslie A North, Jason S Polk
The interconnected nature of surface and subsurface karst environments allows easy disturbance to their aquifers and specialized ecosystems from anthropogenic impacts. The karst disturbance index is a holistic tool used to measure disturbance to karst environments and has been applied and refined through studies in Florida and Italy, among others. Through these applications, the karst disturbance index has evolved into two commonly used methods of application; yet, the karst disturbance index is still susceptible to evaluation and modification for application in other areas around the world...
September 30, 2016: Environmental Management
Angel M Mayor, Eduardo J Santiago-Rodriguez, Eddy Rios-Olivares, Guillermo Tortolero-Luna, Robert F Hunter-Mellado
BACKGROUND: The study describes the cancer trends in a Puerto Rican Hispanic HIV/AIDS cohort for three different time periods as defined by the availability of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in the Island: pre (1992-1995), early (1996-2002, and recent (2003-2009). METHODS: AIDS and non-AIDS related malignancies risk, standardized incidence rate and one year mortality was evaluated in the cohort before and after cART. RESULTS: Of the 281 malignancies found in 265 persons; 72% were in men, 38% in injecting drug users and 42...
2016: International Journal of Cancer Research
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