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Volume 6(5); October 2015
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Editorial
Norovirus outbreaks occurred in different settings in the Republic of Korea
Hae-Wol Cho, Chaeshin Chu
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):281-282.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.11.001
  • 1,322 View
  • 16 Download
  • 4 Citations
PDF
Original Articles
Exposure of Infants to Aflatoxin M1 from Mother's Breast Milk in Ilam, Western Iran
Farajollah Maleki, Soghra Abdi, Elaham Davodian, Karimeh Haghani, Salar Bakhtiyari
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):283-287.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.001
  • 1,365 View
  • 17 Download
  • 24 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Aflatoxins as a highly toxic group of mycotoxins are present in the environment and foodstuff. These have been reported to cause serious health problems in humans. Since aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is excreted into breast milk, investigating the exposure of infants to AFM1 is of special concern.
Methods
In the present study, breast milk samples were collected from 85 lactating mothers in Ilam province, Iran, and the levels of AFM1 were analyzed using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based technique. AFM1 was detected in breast milk of all lactating women. The mean contamination level was 5.91 ± 2.031 ng/L, ranging from 2 ng/L to 10 ng/L.
Results
Multiple regression analysis indicated no significant associations of consumption of milk and dairy products, meat, fish, legumes, grain products, fruits, and nuts with the concentration of AFM1 in breast milk. Furthermore, no significant association was observed between AFM1 concentration and anthropometric data of infants.
Conclusion
In western parts of Iran, lactating mothers and their infants could be at risk of aflatoxin B1 and AFM1 exposure, respectively. Therefore, in Iran, the evaluation of AFM1 in human breast milk as a biomarker for postnatal exposure of infants to this carcinogen requires more attention in different regions and various seasons.
Modeling Chagas Disease at Population Level to Explain Venezuela's Real Data
Gilberto González-Parra, Benito M. Chen-Charpentier, Moises Bermúdez
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):288-301.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.09.001
  • 1,208 View
  • 15 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
In this paper we present an age-structured epidemiological model for Chagas disease. This model includes the interactions between human and vector populations that transmit Chagas disease.
Methods
The human population is divided into age groups since the proportion of infected individuals in this population changes with age as shown by real prevalence data. Moreover, the age-structured model allows more accurate information regarding the prevalence, which can help to design more specific control programs. We apply this proposed model to data from the country of Venezuela for two periods, 1961–1971, and 1961–1991 taking into account real demographic data for these periods.
Results
Numerical computer simulations are presented to show the suitability of the age-structured model to explain the real data regarding prevalence of Chagas disease in each of the age groups. In addition, a numerical simulation varying the death rate of the vector is done to illustrate prevention and control strategies against Chagas disease.
Conclusion
The proposed model can be used to determine the effect of control strategies in different age groups.
The Determinants of Research and Development Investment in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Focus on Financial Structures
Munjae Lee, Mankyu Choi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):302-309.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.013
  • 1,333 View
  • 14 Download
  • 15 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study analyzes the influence of the financial structure of pharmaceutical companies on R&D investment to create a next-generation profit source or develop relatively cost-effective drugs to maximize enterprise value.
Methods
The period of the empirical analysis is from 2000 to 2012. Financial statements and comments in general and internal transactions were extracted from TS-2000 of the Korea Listed Company Association (KLCA), and data related to stock price is extracted from KISVALUE-Ⅲ of NICE Information Service Co., Ltd. Stata 12.0 was used as the statistical package for panel analysis.
Results
The current ratio had a positive influence on R&D investment, the debt ratio had a negative influence on R&D investment, and return on investment and net sales growth rate did not have a significant influence on R&D investment.
Conclusion
It was found in this study that the higher liquidity ratio, the greater the R&D investment. The stability of pharmaceutical companies has a negative influence on R&D investment. This finding is consistent with the prediction that if a company faces a financial risk, it will be passive in R&D investment due to its financial difficulties.
Financial Analysis of National University Hospitals in Korea
Munjae Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):310-317.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.007
  • 1,289 View
  • 18 Download
  • 9 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This paper provides information for decision making of the managers and the staff of national university hospitals.
Methods
In order to conduct a financial analysis of national university hospitals, this study uses reports on the final accounts of 10 university hospitals from 2008 to 2011.
Results
The results of comparing 2008 and 2011 showed that there was a general decrease in total assets, an increase in liabilities, and a decrease in total medical revenues, with a continuous deficit in many hospitals. Moreover, as national university hospitals have low debt dependence, their management conditions generally seem satisfactory. However, some individual hospitals suffer severe financial difficulties and thus depend on short-term debts, which generally aggravate the profit and loss structure. Various indicators show that the financial state and business performance of national university hospitals have been deteriorating.
Conclusion
These research findings will be used as important basic data for managers who make direct decisions in this uncertain business environment or by researchers who analyze the medical industry to enable informed decision-making and optimized execution. Furthermore, this study is expected to contribute to raising government awareness of the need to foster and support the national university hospital industry.
Brief Reports
Epidemics of Norovirus GII.4 Variant in Outbreak Cases in Korea, 2004–2012
Sunyoung Jung, Hyun Ju Jeong, Bo-Mi Hwang, Cheon-Kwon Yoo, Gyung Tae Chung, Hyesook Jeong, Yeon-Ho Kang, Deog-Yong Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):318-321.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.002
  • 1,383 View
  • 19 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Norovirus GII.4 is recognized as a worldwide cause of nonbacterial outbreaks. In particular, the GII.4 variant occurs every 2–3 years according to antigenic variation. The aim of our study was to identify GII.4 variants in outbreaks in Korea during 2004–2012. Partial VP1 sequence of norovirus GII.4-related outbreaks during 2004–2012 was analyzed. The partial VP1 sequence was detected with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, seminested polymerase chain reaction, and nucleotide sequence of 312-314 base pairs for phylogenetic comparison. Nine variants emerged in outbreaks, with the Sydney variant showing predominance recently. This predominance may persist for at least 3 years, although new variants may appear in Korea.
Occurrence of Norovirus GII.4 Sydney Variant-related Outbreaks in Korea
Sunyoung Jung, Bo-Mi Hwang, Hyun Ju Jeong, Gyung Tae Chung, Cheon-Kwon Yoo, Yeon-Ho Kang, Deog-Yong Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(5):322-326.   Published online October 31, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.10.004
  • 1,300 View
  • 15 Download
  • 7 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Human noroviruses are major causative agents of food and waterborne outbreaks of nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis. In this study, we report the epidemiological features of three outbreak cases of norovirus in Korea, and we describe the clinical symptoms and distribution of the causative genotypes. The incidence rates of the three outbreaks were 16.24% (326/2,007), 4.1% (27/656), and 16.8% (36/214), respectively. The patients in these three outbreaks were affected by acute gastroenteritis. These schools were provided unheated food from the same manufacturing company. Two genotypes (GII.3 and GII.4) of the norovirus were detected in these cases. Among them, major causative strains of GII.4 (Hu-jeju-47-2007KR-like) were identified in patients, food handlers, and groundwater from the manufacturing company of the unheated food. In the GII.4 (Hu-jeju-47-2007KR-like) strain of the norovirus, the nucleotide sequences were identical and identified as the GII.4 Sydney variant. Our data suggests that the combined epidemiological and laboratory results were closely related, and the causative pathogen was the GII.4 Sydney variant strain from contaminated groundwater.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives