Year of publication
- Self-reported adverse reactions in 4337 healthcare workers immunizations against novel H1N1 influenza (2011)
- Purpose: The use of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine has generated much debate concerning safety issues among the general population and physicians. Therefore, we investigated the safety of an inactivated monovalent H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine Methods: We focused on the H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine Pandemrix(R) and applied a self reporting questionnaire in a population of healthcare workers (HCWs) and medical students at a major university hospital. Results: In total, 4337 individuals were vaccinated, consisting of 3808 HCWs and 529 medical students. The vaccination rate of the employees was higher than 40%.The majority of individuals were vaccinated in November 2009. In total, 291 of the 4337 vaccinations were reported to lead to one or more adverse reactions (6.7%). Local reactions were reported in 3.8%, myalgia and arthralgia in 3.7%, fatigue in 3.7%, headache in 3.1%. Conclusions: Our data together with available data from several national and international institutions points to a safe pandemic influenza vaccine.
- Educators' working conditions in a day care centre on ownership of a non-profit organization (2011)
- Background: Working conditions of nursery school teachers have not been scrutinized thoroughly in scientific research. Only a few studies have so far examined work-load and strain in this profession. Preferably, subjective perceptions should be corroborated by data that can be quantified more objectively and accurately. The aim of the present observational field study was to evaluate pedagogical staffs' workflow. Methods: In 2009 eleven educators in a day care centre were observed throughout three complete workdays. A total of 250 working hours were recorded. Results: An educators' workday lasted on average 07:46:59 h (SD = 01:01:10 h).Within this time span, an average of 02:20:46 h (30.14%, SD = 00:28:07 h) were spent on caring, 01:44:18 h on playing (22.33%, SD = 00:54:12 h), 00:49:37 h on educational work (10.62%, SD = 00:40:09), and only 00:05:38 h on individual child contact (1.21%, SD = 00:04:58 h). Conclusion: For the first time, educators' workflow in day care centres was studied in real time. Some of the educators' self-reported problems were corroborated. The results of this study form a basis upon which further investigations can be built and measures can be developed for an overall improvement of child care.
- Scientometric analysis of the world-wide research efforts concerning Leishmaniasis (2010)
- Background: Leishmaniasis is a chronic disease that is found in various countries of the world. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of leishmaniasis on the world's research output. The present study assessed benchmarking of research output for the period between 1957 and 2006. Using large database analyses, research in the field of leishmaniasis was evaluated. Furthermore, cooperation between different countries was identified. Results: The number of publications increased with time. Most publications came from Western countries such as the US, UK or Germany. Interestingly, countries like Brazil and India had a high research output. We found a substantial amount of cooperation between countries. Conclusion: Although leishmaniasis is of limited geographic distribution it attracts a wide research interest. The central hub of research cooperation is the USA.
- Bidirectional Assessment of Stress, job satisfaction and work ability of Educators in day care centres: a real-time observation study - the study protocol (BASE) (2010)
- Background: Occupational demands of educators are not very well researched. Nevertheless their work is subject to several requirements. Whether these demands have an effect on the work ability and the health status of employees has also not been examined. Furthermore it is unclear if the ownership type of day care centres have an influence on job satisfaction and work ability of the pedagogical staff and what kind of resources do exist. Previous studies were mainly based on questionnaire data. Objective data does not exist. Therefore the aim of this investigation is to collect precise data relating to work of educators. Methods: Effects of different types of ownership of day care centres on job satisfaction and work ability of educators will be assessed with the help of objective real time studies in combination with multi-level psycho diagnostic measurements. Discussion: The present study is the first of its kind. Up to now there are no computer-based real time studies on workflow of pedagogical staff with regard to assess their work-related stress. Following an exhaustive documentation of educators work processes the day-to-day task can be estimated and approaches for prevention can be developed. This can substantially contribute to an overall improvement of child care in Germany.
- Air pollution research: visualization of research activity using density-equalizing mapping and scientometric benchmarking procedures (2010)
- Background: Due to constantly rising air pollution levels as well as an increasing awareness of the hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws and rules have recently been passed. Although there has been a large amount of research on this topic, bibliometric data is still to be collected. Thus this study provides a scientometric approach to the material published on this subject so far. Methods: For this purpose, data retrieved from the "Web of Science" provided by the Thomson Scientific Institute was analyzed and visualized both with density-equalizing methods and classic data-processing methods such as tables and charts. Results: For the time span between 1955 and 2006, 26,253 items were listed and related to the topic of air pollution, published by 124 countries in 24 different languages. General citation activity has been constantly increasing since the beginning of the examined period. However, beginning with the year 1991, citation levels have been rising exponentially each year, reaching 39,220 citations in the year 2006. The United States, the UK and Germany were the three most productive countries in the area, with English and German ranked first and second in publishing languages, followed by French. An article published by Dockery, Pope, Xu et al. was both the most cited in total numbers and in average citation rate. J. Schwartz was able to claim the highest total number of citations on his publications, while D.W. Dockery has the highest citation rate per publication. As to the subject areas the items are assigned with, the most item were published in Environmental Sciences, followed by Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences and Public, Environmental & Occupational Health. Nine out of the ten publishing journals with more than 300 entries dealt with environmental interests and one dealt with epidemiology. Conclusions: Using the method of density-equalizing mapping and further common data processing procedures, it can be concluded that scientific work concerning air pollution and related topics enjoys unbrokenly growing scientific interest. This can be observed both in publication numbers and in citation activity.
- Reference values and physiological characterization of a specific isolated pig kidney perfusion model (2007)
- BACKGROUND: Models of isolated and perfused kidneys are used to study the effects of drugs, hazardous or toxic substances on renal functions. Since physiological and morphological parameters of small laboratory animal kidneys are difficult to compare to human renal parameters, porcine kidney perfusion models have been developed to simulate closer conditions to the human situation, but exact values of renal parameters for different collection and perfusion conditions have not been reported so far. If the organs could be used out of regular slaughtering processes animal experiments may be avoided. METHODS: To assess renal perfusion quality, we analyzed different perfusion settings in a standardized model of porcine kidney hemoperfusion with organs collected in the operating theatre (OP: groups A-D) or in a public abattoir (SLA: group E) and compared the data to in vivo measurements in living animals (CON). Experimental groups had defined preservation periods (0, 2 and 24 hrs), one with additional albumin in the perfusate (C) for edema reduction. RESULTS: Varying perfusion settings resulted in different functional values (mean +/- SD): blood flow (RBF [ml/min*100 g]: (A) 339.9 +/- 61.1; (C) 244.5 +/- 53.5; (D) 92.8 +/- 25.8; (E) 153.8 +/- 41.5); glomerular filtration (GFR [ml/min*100 g]: (CON) 76.1 +/- 6.2; (A) 59.2 +/- 13.9; (C) 25.0 +/- 10.6; (D) 1.6 +/- 1.3; (E) 16.3 +/- 8.2); fractional sodium reabsorption (RFNa [%] (CON) 99.8 +/- 0.1; (A) 82.3 +/- 8.1; (C) 86.8 +/- 10.3; (D) 38.4 +/- 24.5; (E) 88.7 +/- 5.8). Additionally the tubular coupling-ratio of Na-reabsorption/O2-consumption was determined (TNa/O2-cons [mmol-Na/mmol- O2] (CON) 30.1; (A) 42.0, (C) 80.6; (D) 17.4; (E) 23.8), exhibiting OP and SLA organs with comparable results. CONCLUSION: In the present study functional values for isolated kidneys with different perfusion settings were determined to assess organ perfusion quality. It can be summarized that the hemoperfused porcine kidney can serve as a biological model with acceptable approximation to in vivo renal physiology, also if the organs originate from usual slaughtering processes.
- Particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels in ETS emissions of a Marlboro Red cigarette in comparison to the 3R4F reference cigarette under open- and closed-door condition (2012)
- Introduction: Potential health damage by environmental emission of tobacco smoke (environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) has been demonstrated convincingly in numerous studies. People, especially children, are still exposed to ETS in the small space of private cars. Although major amounts of toxic compounds from ETS are likely transported into the distal lung via particulate matter (PM), few studies have quantified the amount of PM in ETS. Study aim The aim of this study was to determine the ETS-dependent concentration of PM from both a 3R4F reference cigarette (RC) as well as a Marlboro Red brand cigarette (MRC) in a small enclosed space under different conditions of ventilation to model car exposure. Method: In order to create ETS reproducibly, an emitter (ETSE) was constructed and mounted on to an outdoor telephone booth with an inner volume of 1.75 m3. Cigarettes were smoked under open- and closed-door condition to imitate different ventilation scenarios. PM2.5 concentration was quantified by a laser aerosol spectrometer (Grimm; Model 1.109), and data were adjusted for baseline values. Simultaneously indoor and outdoor climate parameters were recorded. The time of smoking was divided into the ETS generation phase (subset "emission") and a declining phase of PM concentration (subset "elimination"); measurement was terminated after 10 min. For all three time periods the average concentration of PM2.5 (Cmean-PM2.5) and the area under the PM2.5 concentration curve (AUC-PM2.5) was calculated. The maximum concentration (Cmax-PM2.5) was taken from the total interval. Results: For both cigarette types open-door ventilation reduced the AUC-PM2.5 (RC: from 59 400 +/- 14 600 to 5 550 +/- 3 900 mug*sec/m3; MRC: from 86 500 +/- 32 000 to 7 300 +/- 2 400 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.001) and Cmean-PM2.5 (RC: from 600 +/- 150 to 56 +/- 40 mug/m3, MRC from 870 +/- 320 to 75 +/- 25 mug/m3; p < 0.001) by about 90%. Cmax-PM2.5 was reduced by about 80% (RC: from 1 050 +/- 230 to 185 +/- 125 mug/m3; MRC: from 1 560 +/-500 mug/m3 to 250 +/- 85 mug/m3; p < 0.001). In the subset "emission" we identified a 78% decrease in AUC-PM2.5 (RC: from 18 600 +/- 4 600 to 4 000 +/- 2 600 mug*sec/m3; MRC: from 26 600 +/- 7 200 to 5 800 +/- 1 700 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.001) and Cmean-PM2.5 (RC: from 430 +/- 108 to 93 +/- 60 mug/m3; MRC: from 620 +/- 170 to 134 +/- 40 mug/m3; p < 0.001). In the subset "elimination" we found a reduction of about 96-98% for AUC-PM2.5 (RC: from 40 800 +/- 11 100 to 1 500 +/- 1 700 mug*sec/m3; MRC: from 58 500 +/- 25 200 to 1 400 +/- 800 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.001) and Cmean-PM2.5 (RC: from 730 +/- 200 to 27 +/- 29 mug/m3; MRC: from 1 000 +/- 450 to 26 +/- 15 mug/m3; p < 0.001). Throughout the total interval Cmax-PM2.5 of MRC was about 50% higher (1 550 +/- 500 mug/m3) compared to RC (1 050 +/- 230 mug/m3; p < 0.05). For the subset "emission" - but not for the other periods - AUC-PM2.5 for MRC was 43% higher (MRC: 26 600 +/- 7 200 mug*sec/m3; RC: 18 600 +/- 4 600 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.05) and 44% higher for Cmean-PM2.5 (MRC: 620 +/- 170 mug/m3; RC: 430 +/- 108 mug/m3; p < 0.05). Conclusion: This method allows reliable quantification of PM2.5-ETS exposure under various conditions, and may be useful for ETS risk assessment in realistic exposure situations. The findings demonstrate that open-door condition does not completely remove ETS from a defined indoor space of 1.75 m3. Because there is no safe level of ETS exposure ventilation is not adequate enough to prevent ETS exposure in confined spaces, e.g. private cars. Additionally, differences in the characteristics of cigarettes affect the amount of ETS particle emission and need to be clarified by ongoing investigations.
- Models of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (2004)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major global health problem and is predicted to become the third most common cause of death by 2020. Apart from the important preventive steps of smoking cessation, there are no other specific treatments for COPD that are as effective in reversing the condition, and therefore there is a need to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms that could lead to new therapeutic strategies. The development of experimental models will help to dissect these mechanisms at the cellular and molecular level. COPD is a disease characterized by progressive airflow obstruction of the peripheral airways, associated with lung inflammation, emphysema and mucus hypersecretion. Different approaches to mimic COPD have been developed but are limited in comparison to models of allergic asthma. COPD models usually do not mimic the major features of human COPD and are commonly based on the induction of COPD-like lesions in the lungs and airways using noxious inhalants such as tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxide, or sulfur dioxide. Depending on the duration and intensity of exposure, these noxious stimuli induce signs of chronic inflammation and airway remodelling. Emphysema can be achieved by combining such exposure with instillation of tissue-degrading enzymes. Other approaches are based on genetically-targeted mice which develop COPD-like lesions with emphysema, and such mice provide deep insights into pathophysiological mechanisms. Future approaches should aim to mimic irreversible airflow obstruction, associated with cough and sputum production, with the possibility of inducing exacerbations.
- Analysis of airway secretions in a model of sulfur dioxide induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (2006)
- Hypersecretion and chronic phlegm are major symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but animal models of COPD with a defined functional hypersecretion have not been established so far. To identify an animal model of combined morphological signs of airway inflammation and functional hypersecretion, rats were continuously exposed to different levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2, 5 ppm, 10 ppm, 20 ppm, 40 ppm, 80 ppm) for 3 (short-term) or 20–25 (long-term) days. Histology revealed a dose-dependent increase in edema formation and inflammatory cell infiltration in short-term-exposed animals. The submucosal edema was replaced by fibrosis after long-term-exposure. The basal secretory activity was only significantly increased in the 20 ppm group. Also, stimulated secretion was significantly increased only after exposure to 20 ppm. BrdU-assays and AgNOR-analysis demonstrated cellular metaplasia and glandular hypertrophy rather than hyperplasia as the underlying morphological correlate of the hypersecretion. In summary, SO2-exposure can lead to characteristic airway remodeling and changes in mucus secretion in rats. As only long-term exposure to 20 ppm leads to a combination of hypersecretion and airway inflammation, only this mode of exposure should be used to mimic human COPD. Concentrations less or higher than 20 ppm or short term exposure do not induce the respiratory symptom of hypersecretion. The present model may be used to characterize the effects of new compounds on mucus secretion in the background of experimental COPD.
- Editorial: Experimental models of asthma (2008)
- Since 2002, a workshop entitled “Asthma in animal models” has been held once a year in Hannover, Germany. It is organized by the Fraunhofer Institute of Toxicology and Experimental Medicine in collaboration with the collaborative research centre “Sonderforschungsbereich” 587, “Immune reactions of the lung in infection and allergy” (Hannover Medical School). The aim of these meetings is an intense scientific exchange between researchers and clinicians coming from academic or industrial background. Over the years the topics within the extensive field of asthma and COPD have ranged from methodological aspects to the influence of infections and environmental factors up to perspectives in the development of new therapeutic strategies.