Heather Alexander

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BACKGROUND The Xpert MTB/RIF test (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) can detect tuberculosis and its multidrug-resistant form with very high sensitivity and specificity in controlled studies, but no performance data exist from district and subdistrict health facilities in tuberculosis-endemic countries. We aimed to assess operational feasibility, accuracy, and(More)
Notch is a transmembrane receptor that controls cell fate decisions in Drosophila and whose role in mammalian cell fate decisions is beginning to be explored. We are investigating the role of Notch in a well-studied mammalian cell fate decision: the choice between the CD8 and CD4 T cell lineages. Here we report that expression of an activated form of Notch1(More)
Rapid progress has been made in the development of new diagnostic assays for tuberculosis in recent years. New technologies have been developed and assessed, and are now being implemented. The Xpert MTB/RIF assay, which enables simultaneous detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and rifampicin (RIF) resistance, was endorsed by WHO in December, 2010.(More)
Neisseria meningitidis has evolved the ability to control the expression-state of numerous genes by phase variation. It has been proposed that the process aids this human pathogen in coping with the diversity of microenvironments and host immune systems. Therefore, increased frequencies of phase variation may augment the organism's adaptability and(More)
In the period from January, 1982, to March, 1983, eight infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at one hospital had blood cultures positive for Candida parapsilosis; six cases had occurred after December, 1982. Epidemiologic investigation included a case-control study comparing the 8 cases with 29 birth weight-matched controls. Logistic regression(More)
Stakeholders agree that supporting high-quality diagnostics is essential if we are to continue to make strides in the fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis. Despite the need to strengthen existing laboratory infrastructure, which includes expanding and developing new laboratories, there are clear diagnostic needs where(More)
The aim of this study was to identify and describe the clinical reasoning characteristics of diagnostic experts. A group of 21 experienced general practitioners were asked to complete the Diagnostic Thinking Inventory (DTI)and a set of 10 clinical reasoning problems (CRP) to evaluate their clinical reasoning. Both the DTI and the CRPs were scored, and the(More)
OBJECTIVE To analyse the feasibility, cost and performance of rapid tuberculosis (TB) molecular and culture systems, in a high multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) middle-income region (Samara, Russia) and provide evidence for WHO policy change. METHODS Performance and cost evaluation was conducted to compare the BACTEC MGIT 960 system for culture and drug(More)
Since the long-term catheterized patient is at significant risk of urinary tract infection, and the catheter drainage bags of these patients are at significant risk of becoming reservoirs for nosocomial pathogens, we carried out a randomized, controlled study to determine the efficacy of intermittent drainage bag instillation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in(More)
We describe a case of wound botulism associated with a tooth abscess in a 5-year-old boy. We reviewed the literature and reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta) of laboratory-confirmed cases of wound botulism. From 1943 through 1990, 47 cases were reported. Type A botulinus toxin was identified in 32 cases, type B in 13, types A(More)