Public health

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nutritional experience can have phenotypic consequences in subsequent generations, as is evident from studies in animals and plants. Here, Vågerö et al. find in a large three-generation cohort that access to food in the paternal grandfather associates with all-cause and cancer mortality in male grandchildren.

    • Denny Vågerö
    • , Pia R. Pinger
    •  & Gerard J. van den Berg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Treatment-seeking for fever is widely used to estimate treatment of childhood infections, but cross-country comparisons are problematic. Here, the authors estimate the probability of seeking treatment for fever at public facilities across 29 countries by quantifying person-level latent variables.

    • Victor A. Alegana
    • , Joseph Maina
    •  & Andrew J. Tatem
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The decision when to stop an intervention is a critical component of parasite elimination programmes, but reliance on surveillance data alone can be inaccurate. Here, Michael et al. combine parasite transmission model predictions with disease survey data to more reliably determine when interventions can be stopped.

    • Edwin Michael
    • , Morgan E. Smith
    •  & Frank O. Richards
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors examine the role of monkey populations in the sylvatic cycle of chikungunya virus in the Kédougou region, Senegal. The authors show that monkeys are amplification hosts, as opposed to reservoir hosts for infection. These findings expand our knowledge of the transmission dynamics of chikungunya virus in this region of Senegal.

    • Benjamin M. Althouse
    • , Mathilde Guerbois
    •  & Kathryn A. Hanley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Individuals with different genotypes may respond differently to environmental variation. Here, Favé et al. find substantial impacts of different environment exposures on the transcriptome and clinical endophenotypes when controlling for genetic ancestry by analyzing data from 1000 individuals from a founder population in Quebec.

    • Marie-Julie Favé
    • , Fabien C. Lamaze
    •  & Philip Awadalla
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding global epidemics spread is crucial for preparedness and response. Here the authors introduce an analytical framework to study epidemic spread on air transport networks, and demonstrate its power to estimate key epidemic parameters by application to the recent influenza pandemic and Ebola outbreak.

    • Lin Wang
    •  & Joseph T. Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mass drug administration depends on the distributors’ contact with community members. Using data of deworming treatment distribution from Ugandan villages, the authors show that community medicine distributors with tightly-knit friendship connections achieve the greatest reach and speed of coverage.

    • Goylette F. Chami
    • , Andreas A. Kontoleon
    •  & David W. Dunne
  • Article
    | Open Access

    International and domestic interprovincial trade of China are entangled, but their health impacts have been treated separately in earlier studies. Here Wang. quantify the complex impacts of trade on public health across China within an integrative framework.

    • Haikun Wang
    • , Yanxu Zhang
    •  & Michael B. McElroy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Primary dysmenorrhoea, the most common gynaecologic complaint, remains genetically and pathophysiologically elusive. Here, Li and colleagues identify common variants inZMIZ1 and near NGFconferring risk for primary dysmenorrhoea using genome-wide association study in a Chinese population.

    • Zhiqiang Li
    • , Jianhua Chen
    •  & Yongyong Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some argue that health-related behaviours, such as obesity, are contagious, but empirical evidence of health contagion remains inconclusive. Here, using a large scale quasi-experiment in a global network of runners, Aral and Nicolaides show that this type of contagion exists in fitness behaviours.

    • Sinan Aral
    •  & Christos Nicolaides
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The impact of antibiotics on the microbiome and health of children is poorly understood. Here, Korpela et al. study the gut microbiome of 142 children and show that the use of macrolides, but not penicillins, is associated with long-lasting shifts in microbiota composition and increased risk of asthma and overweight.

    • Katri Korpela
    • , Anne Salonen
    •  & Willem M. de Vos
  • Article |

    Scrapie, a form of prion disease that affects sheep and goats, is believed not to be transmissible to humans. Using transgenic mice expressing human prion protein as a model of cross-species prion transmission, the authors show that ovine scrapie may possess potential to be passed on to humans.

    • Hervé Cassard
    • , Juan-Maria Torres
    •  & Olivier Andréoletti
  • Article |

    Forecasting unwanted interactions between drugs and chemicals in human body is an important but yet unmet need. Here the authors build networks that can predict comorbidities and drug side effects, by analysing the existing database that compiles effects of drugs and chemicals on human conditions.

    • Miquel Duran-Frigola
    • , David Rossell
    •  & Patrick Aloy
  • Article |

    Avian influenza viruses constantly threaten human health as evidenced by the outbreaks of human H7N9 infections. Here, Karlsson et al. show that an avian H3N8 virus isolated from harbour seals has the potential to infect, cause disease and transmit in mammalian models of influenza virus infection.

    • Erik A. Karlsson
    • , Hon S. Ip
    •  & Stacey Schultz-Cherry
  • Article |

    Plasmodium vivax, the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America, is thought to have an Asian origin. Here, the authors show that wild chimpanzees and gorillas in Africa are infected with parasites that are closely related to P. vivax, indicating an African origin for this species.

    • Weimin Liu
    • , Yingying Li
    •  & Paul M. Sharp
  • Article |

    Our ability to accurately predict the spread of infectious diseases is still in its infancy. Here, Shamanet al.develop a model framework that produces accurate real-time forecasts of influenza peak timing for over a hundred cities in the USA.

    • Jeffrey Shaman
    • , Alicia Karspeck
    •  & Marc Lipsitch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The structure of the human gut microbiota has been shown to vary between populations. Tyakht et al.analyse the gut microbiota assembly from Russian individuals living in urban and rural areas, and compare these with previously studied populations.

    • Alexander V. Tyakht
    • , Elena S. Kostryukova
    •  & Vadim M. Govorun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Malaria can persist at levels that escape detection by standard microscopy, but can be detected by PCR. Okell et al.now show that rates of submicroscopic infection can be predicted using more widely available microscopy data, and are most epidemiologically significant in areas with low malaria transmission.

    • Lucy C. Okell
    • , Teun Bousema
    •  & Chris J. Drakeley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Seasonal malaria chemoprevention can lower the incidence of malaria in areas where transmission is highly periodical. Combining data on rainfall, population and malaria endemicity, Cairnset al. identify geographical areas in sub-Saharan Africa where this intervention is likely to be effective and cost-effective.

    • Matthew Cairns
    • , Arantxa Roca-Feltrer
    •  & Brian M. Greenwood
  • Article |

    The treatment ofMycobacterium tuberculosis with drugs such as isoniazid often results in drug resistance, but the mechanisms leading to the resistance are not fully known. In this study, an M. tuberculosisstrain lacking the sigma factor I is shown to be resistant to isoniazid.

    • Jong-Hee Lee
    • , Nicole C. Ammerman
    •  & William R. Bishai
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recent work has shown that the transmission of malaria from mosquito to human is inefficient. In this study, an analysis of published literature is used to understand this inefficiency, which is likely due to heterogeneous biting, where 20% of people receive 80% of the bites.

    • David L. Smith
    • , Chris J. Drakeley
    •  & Simon I. Hay