The Inuit population of Nunavik (Canada) is exposed to immunotoxic organochlorines (OCs) mainly through the consumption of fish and marine mammal fat. We investigated the effect of perinatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) on the incidence of acute infections in Inuit infants. We reviewed the medical charts of a cohort of 199 Inuit infants during the first 12 months of life and evaluated the incidence rates of upper and lower respiratory tract infections (URTI and LRTIs, respectively), otitis media, and gastrointestinal (GI) infections. Maternal plasma during delivery and infant plasma at 7 months of age were sampled and assayed for PCBs and DDE. Compared to rates for infants in the first quartile of exposure to PCBs (least exposed), adjusted rate ratios for infants in higher quartiles ranged between 1.09 and 1.32 for URTIs, 0.99 and 1.39 for otitis, 1.52 and 1.89 for GI infections, and 1.16 and 1.68 for LRTIs during the first 6 months of follow-up. For all infections combined, the rate ratios ranged from 1.17 to 1.27. The effect size was similar for DDE exposure but was lower for the full 12-month follow-up. Globally, most rate ratios were > 1.0, but few were statistically significant (p
Since the 1980s, rare cases of rabies in humans in Canada and the United States have been almost exclusively caused by the bat-variant virus.
We reviewed indigenously acquired cases of bat-variant rabies in humans in Canada and the United States from 1950 through 2007.
Of 61 cases identified, 5 occurred after organ transplantation and were excluded from further analysis. A bite was reported by 22 (39%) of the case patients, 9 (16%) had a direct contact (i.e., were touched by a bat) but no history of a bite, 6 (11%) found bats in their home (2 [4%] in the room where they slept) but reported no direct contact, and 19 (34%) reported no history of bat exposure whatsoever. With the exception of California (8 cases) and Texas (7 cases), no state or province had >3 cases. Of the case patients, 76% were men, and 40% were 10-29 years of age. The median incubation period was 7 weeks (
Despite a population immunity level estimated at approximately 95%, an outbreak of measles responsible for 94 cases occurred in Quebec, Canada. Unlike previous outbreaks in which most unvaccinated children belonged to a single community, this outbreak had cases coming from several unrelated networks of unvaccinated persons dispersed in the population. No epidemiological link was found for about one-third of laboratory-confirmed cases. This outbreak demonstrated that minimal changes in the level of aggregation of unvaccinated individuals can lead to sustained transmission in highly vaccinated populations. Mathematical work is needed regarding the level of aggregation of unvaccinated individuals that would jeopardize elimination.
The long-term risk of patients with Kawasaki disease is not well defined. A great proportion of patients with Kawasaki disease have important variation of their coronary artery (CA) diameters, but the significance of this variation is not known. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that patients within the normal range of CA diameters but with important Z-score variation have a stronger inflammatory response and increased resistance to treatment than those without such Z-score variation.
A retrospective study was conducted in 197 patients with Kawasaki disease with serial echocardiograms up to 12 months after diagnosis. Patients with occult CA dilatation (variation > 2 Z-score units but within the normal range) were compared with patients with definite CA dilatation (Z score > 2.5) and with patients with normal CA for resistance to treatment and systemic inflammatory parameters.
A total of 63 patients (32.0%) were identified with Z scores always within the normal range but with important variation of CA diameter during follow-up (occult dilatation). There was a strong statistically significant trend of increasing inflammatory marker levels across patient categories (normal > occult dilatation > definite dilatation). Furthermore, resistance to intravenous immunoglobulin therapy was significantly increased in patients with occult dilatation compared with patients with normal CAs (relative risk, 2.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-5.44; P = .006).
The suggested definition of occult CA dilatation identified patients with CA involvement currently unrecognized per the current guidelines. These patients might be at a higher CA risk than previously thought.
This study describes the time trends of organochlorines [OCs; 14 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 11 chlorinated pesticides] in umbilical cord plasma of newborns in a remote Canadian coastal population. We analyzed 408 cord blood samples collected between 1993 and 2000 for PCBs, chlordanes, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethylene (DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and n-3 fatty acids. We also gathered information on the mothers (age, past and present residence, ethnic group, use of tobacco during pregnancy, and breast-feeding during previous pregnancies). From 1993 to 2000, mean concentrations of PCBs, chlordanes, DDT/DDE, and HCB in cord blood decreased by 63%, 25%, 66%, and 69%, respectively (p
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Feb;108(2):167-7210656858
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 1999 Jun 1;230(1-3):145-20710466229
Inuit inhabitants of Nunavik (northern Québec, Canada) consume great quantities of marine food and are therefore exposed to high doses of food chain contaminants. In this study, we report the time trends of persistent organic pollutants, mercury, and lead in umbilical cord blood of infants from three communities of the east coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavik. We analyzed 251 cord blood samples collected from 1994 through 2001 for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), chlordanes, lead, and mercury. Using an exponential model, we found strongly significant decreasing trends for PCBs (7.9% per year, p
BACKGROUND: Inuit women from Northern Québec have been shown to consume inadequate quantities of vitamin A. This study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of blood vitamin A deficiency in newborns from 3 distinct populations of the province of Québec. METHODS: 594 newborns were included in this study (375 Inuit newborns from northern Québec (Nunavik), 107 Caucasian and Native newborns from the Lower Northern Shore of the Saint-Lawrence River (LNS) and 112 newborns from Southern Québec where clinical vitamin A deficiency is uncommon). Mothers were recruited at delivery and vitamin A (retinol) was analyzed from umbilical cord blood samples by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Nunavik and LNS newborns had significantly lower mean vitamin A concentrations in cord blood compared to Southern Québec participants (15.7 microg/dL, 16.8 microg/dL and 20.4 microg/dL respectively). The differences observed were similar when adjusted for sex and birthweight. Results also showed that 8.5% of Nunavik newborns and 12.2% of LNS newborns were below 10.0 microg/dL, a level thought to be indicative of blood vitamin A deficiency in neonates. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that a carefully planned vitamin A supplementation program during pregnancy in Nunavik and LNS might be indicated to promote healthy infant development.