• Evaluation of a questionnaire to assess selected infectious diseases and their risk factors : findings of a multicenter study.

      Sievers, Claudia; Akmatov, Manas K; Kreienbrock, Lothar; Hille, Katja; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Günther, Kathrin; Flesch-Janys, Dieter; Obi, Nadia; Michels, Karin B; Fricke, Julia; et al. (2014-11)
      The risk to die from an infectious disease in Germany has been continuously decreasing over the last century. Since infections are, however, not only causes of death but risk factors for diseases like cardiovascular diseases, it is essential to monitor and analyze their prevalence and frequency, especially in consideration of the increased life expectancy. To gain more knowledge about infectious diseases as risk factors and their implications on the condition and change of the immune status, the German National Cohort (GNC), a population-based prospective cohort study, will recruit 200,000 subjects between 2014 and 2017. In Pretest 1, a feasibility study for the GNC, we evaluated a self-administered and self-report questionnaire on infectious diseases and on the use of health care facilities (hereinafter called "ID Screen") for feasibility and validity.
    • The German National Cohort: aims, study design and organization.

      German National Cohort consortium; Krause, Gerard; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014-05)
      The German National Cohort (GNC) is a joint interdisciplinary endeavour of scientists from the Helmholtz and the Leibniz Association, universities, and other research institutes. Its aim is to investigate the causes for the development of major chronic diseases, i.e. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative/-psychiatric diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory and infectious diseases, and their pre-clinical stages or functional health impairments. Across Germany, a random sample of the general population will be drawn by 18 regional study centres, including a total of 100,000 women and 100,000 men aged 20-69 years. The baseline assessments include an extensive interview and self-completion questionnaires, a wide range of medical examinations and the collection of various biomaterials. In a random subgroup of 20 % of the participants (n = 40,000) an intensified examination ("Level 2") programme will be performed. In addition, in five of the 18 study centres a total of 30,000 study participants will take part in a magnetic resonance imaging examination programme, and all of these participants will also be offered the intensified Level 2 examinations. After 4-5 years, all participants will be invited for a re-assessment. Information about chronic disease endpoints will be collected through a combination of active follow-up (including questionnaires every 2-3 years) and record linkages. The GNC is planned for an overall duration of 25-30 years. It will provide a major, central resource for population-based epidemiology in Germany, and will help to identify new and tailored strategies for early detection, prediction, and primary prevention of major diseases.
    • Serial home-based self-collection of anterior nasal swabs to detect Staphylococcus aureus carriage in a randomized population-based study in Germany.

      Akmatov, Manas K; Mehraj, Jaishri; Gatzemeier, Anja; Strömpl, Julia; Witte, Wolfgang; Krause, Gerard; Pessler, Frank; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014-08)
      Participant-collected serial nasal swabs would be a cost-efficient feature of prospective population-based microbiological studies. We examined the feasibility of serial anterior nasal self-swabbing for Staphylococcus aureus detection in a prospective population-based study in Braunschweig, Germany, and assessed the impact of three interventions on participation and compliance.
    • Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management System (SORMAS) to support the control of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.

      Fähnrich, C; Denecke, K; Adeoye, O O; Benzler, J; Claus, H; Kirchner, G; Mall, S; Richter, R; Schapranow, M P; Schwarz, N; et al. (2015)
      In the context of controlling the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), the World Health Organization claimed that 'critical determinant of epidemic size appears to be the speed of implementation of rigorous control measures', i.e. immediate follow-up of contact persons during 21 days after exposure, isolation and treatment of cases, decontamination, and safe burials. We developed the Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management System (SORMAS) to improve efficiency and timeliness of these measures. We used the Design Thinking methodology to systematically analyse experiences from field workers and the Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) after successful control of the EVD outbreak in Nigeria. We developed a process model with seven personas representing the procedures of EVD outbreak control. The SORMAS system architecture combines latest In-Memory Database (IMDB) technology via SAP HANA (in-memory, relational database management system), enabling interactive data analyses, and established SAP cloud tools, such as SAP Afaria (a mobile device management software). The user interface consists of specific front-ends for smartphones and tablet devices, which are independent from physical configurations. SORMAS allows real-time, bidirectional information exchange between field workers and the EOC, ensures supervision of contact follow-up, automated status reports, and GPS tracking. SORMAS may become a platform for outbreak management and improved routine surveillance of any infectious disease. Furthermore, the SORMAS process model may serve as framework for EVD outbreak modeling.