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עמוד בית
Wed, 10.08.22

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June 2022
Ruti Berger PhD and Yossi Weiss PhD MPH

Background: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a form of international private business self-regulation that aims to contribute to society from a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically oriented practices. The major benefit of ESG is having the organization’s workers recruited for the goal of making the world a better place. There is a growing understanding regarding the extent of the environmental impacts of health services. Therefore, the interest in measuring and reporting the sustainability of health system performance is becoming crucial. As population aging and growth in healthcare demand are two of the main challenges of the current and mainly future health services, performance, and quality measurement as well as sustainability metrices are relevant more than ever.

Objectives: To review the ESG activities at Assuta Medical Centers (AMC) that helped the organization earn the Maala Index Platinum + grade in 2021.

Methods: We reviewed the ESG elements that were implemented at AMC.

Results: AMC entered an ESG process in November 2019 and earned Platinum and Platinum+ grades from the Maala Index in 2020 and 2021, respectively. AMC won the Workforce Diversity prize for having many employees over 60 years of age. AMC activities are detailed as a case study for other health organizations in Israel and worldwide.

Conclusions: A big leading health organization can spearhead sustainable development goals model in Israel and worldwide.

April 2016
Sara Bindoli MD, José J. Torres-Ruiz MD, Carlo Perricone MD, Mojca Bizjak MD, Andrea Doria MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaCR

Sarcoidosis is a chronic multisystem disease with variable course resulting from the interaction between environmental factors and the immune system of individuals genetically predisposed. The evidence linking sarcoidosis with environmental triggers such as metals is increasing. We describe the case of a 44 year old female with a history of smoking since age 30 and previous mercury dental filling who presented at physical examination with numerous subcutaneous nodules. Laboratory data showed accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and high titer of anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein antibodies (U1-RNP). Skin biopsy and chest X-ray suggested the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. In this report we illustrate the different causes involved in the onset of sarcoidosis.

October 2014
María-Teresa Arango MSc, Shaye Kivity MD, Joab Chapman MD PhD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP
February 2009
N. Agmon-Levin, B. Porat Katz and Y. Shoenfeld

Primary biliary cirrhosis is an autoimmune cholestatic liver disease characterized by humoral and cellular response directed at mitochondrial autoantigens, mainly the E2 component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. The etiology of PBC[1], like most polygenic autoimmune diseases, belongs to the "complex" category, including genetic elements and environmental factors. Many environmental factors, such as xenobiotics, smoking, hormonal therapy, toxins, oxidative stress and recurrent urinary tract infections, are associated with PBC. Infectious agents can trigger autoimmunity via several mechanisms and are associated with various autoimmune diseases. A relationship between PBC and several infectious agents, and a possible role for Escherichia coli in the pathogenesis of PBC has been suggested. The identification of a culprit agent that induces or exacerbates PBC might have diagnostic and therapeutic implications. This review evaluates the evidence for an infectious agent role in the pathogenesis of PBC.

[1] PBC = primary biliary cirrhosis

January 2008
Y. Shoenfeld, G. Zandman-Goddard, L. Stojanovich, M. Cutolo, H. Amital, Y. Levy, M. Abu-Shakra, O. Barzilai, Y. Berkun, M. Blank, J.F. de Carvalho, A. Doria, B. Gilburd, U. Katz, I. Krause, P. Langevitz, H. Orbach, V. Pordeus, M. Ram, E. Toubi and Y. Sherer
May 2006
L.M. Shulman, Y. Manor, D. Sofer, T. Swartz and E. Mendelson

Background: Poliovirus rapidly evolves by nucleic acid substitutions and genetic recombination with other polioviruses and non-polio enteroviruses. Evolving oral poliovirus (Sabin strains) can rapidly revert to neurovirulence and undergo antigenic alterations.

Objectives: To evaluate the threat of vaccine-derived poliovirus (1–15% divergence from the respective Sabin strain) for a poliomyelitis-free population in a country with a long-standing routine vaccination program.

Methods: We characterized genetic and antigenic changes in OPV[1] strains isolated from sewage in Israel and evaluated intestinal immunity by measuring fecal excretion after OPV challenge of vaccinated children.

Results: Characterization of poliovirus from sewage revealed eight type 2 and three type 3 vaccine polioviruses that had replicated and started to evolve (vaccine that replicated and diverged by 0.5 to ≤ 1.0%) and nine highly diverged type 2 vaccine-derived polioviruses (1–15% divergence from the respective Sabin strain) with 8–14% divergence between the years 1998 and 2005. Six of the eleven VRPV[2] uniquely recombined with OPV and/or NPEV[3]. The nine VDPV[4] were epidemically related, genotypically neurovirulent, and had 10–15 amino acid substitutions in antigenic sites altering their antigenicity, but shared a single recombination. Type 2 OPV was excreted by 23% and 17% of infants challenged with OPV 3 months after partial immunization (two doses each of OPV and enhanced inactivated poliovirus) or full immunization (three doses of each) respectively, despite high humoral antibody titers.

Conclusions: Our findings, which show that OPV is excreted for a significant period by children with high humoral immunity, emphasize the long-term potential threat from VDPV in highly vaccinated populations. An adequate immunization program, combined with environmental surveillance, is necessary to prevent poliomyelitis and community transmission of poliovirus. 


[1] OPV = oral poliovirus

[2] VRPV = vaccine poliovirus that has replicated and started to evolve but is < 1 % but at least 0.5% diverged from the respective Sabin strain

[3] NPEV = non-polio enterovirus

[4] VDPV = vaccine-derived poliovirus 1–15% divergence from the respective Sabin strain

July 2001
Michael D. Lockshin, MD
Autoimmune diseases are said to have high female/male (F/M) ratios, but these ratios are imprecise. Published definitions and classifications of autoimmune diseases differ substantially, as do the F/M ratios themselves. Imputed causality of auto-immune diseases requires better precision. Some thyroid, rheumatic and hepatic diseases consistently have high F/M ratios, but marked differences exist in the reported quantity of the ratios. Other autoimmune diseases have low F/M ratios. Because F/M ratios reflect incidence and not severity of disease, gonadal hormones, if they play a role, must do so through a threshold or permissive mechanism. Sex differences related to environmental exposure, X-inactivation, imprinting, X or Y chromosome genetic modulators, and intrauterine influences remain as alternate, theoretical, explanations for sex differences of incidence. The epidemiology of the sex­discrepant autoimmune diseases - young, female - suggests that an explanation for sex discrepancy lies in differential exposure, vulnerable periods, or thresholds, rather than in quantitative aspects of immunomodulation.

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