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Emerging Infectious Diseases journal

Synopses

  • Co-infections in Visceral Pentastomiasis, Democratic Republic of the Congo PDF Version [PDF - 4.50 MB - 7 pages]
    D. Tappe et al.
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    Results of PCR and histology indicate this infection is endemic to this country.

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    Snakeborne Armillifer pentastomiasis is an emerging human parasitic infection in rural tropical areas where snake meat is eaten. After a series of severe ocular A. grandis larval infections and anecdotal abdominal infection in Sankuru District, Democratic Republic of the Congo, during 2014–2015, we systematically investigated possible pentastomid etiology in patients who underwent surgery in the region. Histologic and molecular analyses by established pentastomid 18S rDNA- and newly developed Armillifer-specific cytochrome oxidase PCRs revealed larval pentastomid lesions in 3.7% of patients. Some persons had A. armillatus and A. grandis co-infections. Another pentastomid larva, Raillietiella sp., was molecularly detected in 1 patient who had concomitant A. grandis and A. armillatus infection. The PCRs used were suitable for detecting pentastomid species even in highly necrotic tissues. Phylogenetic analyses of Armillifer cytochrome oxidase genes detected multiple local strains.

  • Multistate US Outbreak of Rapidly Growing Mycobacterial Infections Associated with Medical Tourism to the Dominican Republic, 2013–2014 PDF Version [PDF - 936 KB - 8 pages]
    D. Schnabel et al.
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    Infections in 6 states were linked to persons traveling to undergo cosmetic surgical procedures.

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    During 2013, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore, MD, USA, received report of 2 Maryland residents whose surgical sites were infected with rapidly growing mycobacteria after cosmetic procedures at a clinic (clinic A) in the Dominican Republic. A multistate investigation was initiated; a probable case was defined as a surgical site infection unresponsive to therapy in a patient who had undergone cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. We identified 21 case-patients in 6 states who had surgery in 1 of 5 Dominican Republic clinics; 13 (62%) had surgery at clinic A. Isolates from 12 (92%) of those patients were culture-positive for Mycobacterium abscessus complex. Of 9 clinic A case-patients with available data, all required therapeutic surgical intervention, 8 (92%) were hospitalized, and 7 (78%) required ≥3 months of antibacterial drug therapy. Healthcare providers should consider infection with rapidly growing mycobacteria in patients who have surgical site infections unresponsive to standard treatment.

  • Probable Rabies Virus Transmission through Organ Transplantation, China, 2015 PDF Version [PDF - 710 KB - 5 pages]
    H. Zhou et al.
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    Implementation of an effective regulatory system for testing donors would decrease the occurrence of donor-derived infectious diseases.

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    During July 2015, physicians at a hospital in Beijing, China, diagnosed rabies in 2 patients who had each received a kidney from a common organ donor who had died from acute progressive encephalitis of unknown cause. The patients had rabies incubation periods of 42 and 48 days. Altered mental status developed in both patients and progressively worsened to deep coma within 80 days after transplantation; both patients died. Two other transplant recipients received corneas but remained well after receiving timely rabies prophylaxis. An effective regulatory system for testing donors should be implemented to decrease the occurrence of donor-derived infectious diseases. In addition, health education should be improved to enhance public awareness of transplant-associated infectious diseases. Transplant recipients and other persons with exposure to organs or tissues from donors with rabies must be provided consistent health monitoring and follow-up, including rabies postexposure prophylaxis; any remaining organs and tissues must be quarantined and not transplanted.

Research

  • Virulence and Evolution of West Nile Virus, Australia, 1960–2012 PDF Version [PDF - 1.60 MB - 10 pages]
    N. A. Prow et al.
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    Despite the absence of disease in humans and animals, virulent virus strains have been circulating for >30 years.

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    Worldwide, West Nile virus (WNV) causes encephalitis in humans, horses, and birds. The Kunjin strain of WNV (WNVKUN) is endemic to northern Australia, but infections are usually asymptomatic. In 2011, an unprecedented outbreak of equine encephalitis occurred in southeastern Australia; most of the ≈900 reported cases were attributed to a newly emerged WNVKUN strain. To investigate the origins of this virus, we performed genetic analysis and in vitro and in vivo studies of 13 WNVKUN isolates collected from different regions of Australia during 1960–2012. Although no disease was recorded for 1984, 2000, or 2012, isolates collected during those years (from Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales, respectively) exhibited levels of virulence in mice similar to that of the 2011 outbreak strain. Thus, virulent strains of WNVKUN have circulated in Australia for >30 years, and the first extensive outbreak of equine disease in Australia probably resulted from a combination of specific ecologic and epidemiologic conditions.

  • Microgeographic Heterogeneity of Border Malaria During Elimination Phase, Yunnan Province, China, 2011–2013 PDF Version [PDF - 2.18 MB - 8 pages]
    X. Xu et al.
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    Malaria was concentrated in a few townships along the China–Myanmar border.

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    To identify township-level high-risk foci of malaria transmission in Yunnan Province, China, along the international border, we retrospectively reviewed data collected in hospitals and clinics of 58 townships in 4 counties during 2011–2013. We analyzed spatiotemporal distribution, especially hot spots of confirmed malaria, using geographic information systems and Getis-Ord Gi*(d) cluster analysis. Malaria incidence, transmission seasonality, and Plasmodium vivax:P. falciparum ratio remained almost unchanged from 2011 to 2013, but heterogeneity in distribution increased. The number of townships with confirmed malaria decreased significantly during the 3 years; incidence became increasingly concentrated within a few townships. High-/low-incidence clusters of P. falciparum shifted in location and size every year, whereas the locations of high-incidence P. vivax townships remained unchanged. All high-incidence clusters were located along the China–Myanmar border. Because of increasing heterogeneity in malaria distribution, microgeographic analysis of malaria transmission hot spots provided useful information for designing targeted malaria intervention during the elimination phase.

  • Phylogeographic Evidence for 2 Genetically Distinct Zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi Parasites, Malaysia PDF Version [PDF - 2.73 MB - 10 pages]
    R. Yusof et al.
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    Sequence analyses of genes derived from human and macaque samples led to the proposal that 2 distinct types exist.

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    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia.

  • Hemolysis after Oral Artemisinin Combination Therapy for Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria PDF Version [PDF - 887 KB - 6 pages]
    F. Kurth et al.
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    Clinicians should be aware of hemolysis in malaria patients with anemia who were given these drugs.

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    Episodes of delayed hemolysis 2–6 weeks after treatment of severe malaria with intravenous artesunate have been described. We performed a prospective observational study of patients with uncomplicated malaria to investigate whether posttreatment hemolysis also occurs after oral artemisinin-based combination therapy. Eight of 20 patients with uncomplicated malaria who were given oral artemisinin-based combination therapy met the definition of posttreatment hemolysis (low haptoglobin level and increased lactate dehydrogenase level on day 14). Five patients had hemolysis persisting for 1 month. Patients with posttreatment hemolysis had a median decrease in hemoglobin level of 1.3 g/dL (interquartile range 0.3–2.0 g/dL) in the posttreatment period, and patients without posttreatment hemolysis had a median increase of 0.3 g/dL (IQR −0.1 to 0.7 g/dL; p = 0.002). These findings indicate a need for increased vigilance for hemolytic events in malaria patients, particularly those with predisposing factors for anemia.

  • Enterovirus D68 Infection in Children with Acute Flaccid Myelitis, Colorado, USA, 2014 PDF Version [PDF - 972 KB - 8 pages]
    N. Aliabadi et al.
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    Odds of this viral infection in the nasopharynx were 10 times greater for children with this condition than for controls.

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    During August 8, 2014–October 14, 2014, a total of 11 children with acute flaccid myelitis and distinctive neuroimaging changes were identified near Denver, Colorado, USA. A respiratory prodrome was experienced by 10, and nasopharyngeal specimens were positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) for 4. To determine whether an association exists between EV-D68 infection and acute flaccid myelitis, we conducted a retrospective case–control study comparing these patients with 2 groups of outpatient control children (1 group tested for acute respiratory illness and 1 for Bordetella pertussis infection). Adjusted analyses indicated that, for children with acute flaccid myelitis, the odds of having EV-D68 infection were 10.3 times greater than for those tested for acute respiratory infection and 4.5 times greater than for those tested for B. pertussis infection. No statistical association was seen between acute flaccid myelitis and non–EV-D68 enterovirus or rhinovirus infection. These findings support an association between EV-D68 infection and acute flaccid myelitis.

  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Transmission in Extended Family, Saudi Arabia, 2014 PDF Version [PDF - 2.04 MB - 8 pages]
    M. Arwady et al.
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    Casual contact was not associated with transmission, and serologic methods were more sensitive than real-time reverse transcription-PCR.

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    Risk factors for human-to-human transmission of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are largely unknown. After MERS-CoV infections occurred in an extended family in Saudi Arabia in 2014, relatives were tested by using real-time reverse transcription PCR (rRT-PCR) and serologic methods. Among 79 relatives, 19 (24%) were MERS-CoV positive; 11 were hospitalized, and 2 died. Eleven (58%) tested positive by rRT-PCR; 8 (42%) tested negative by rRT-PCR but positive by serology. Compared with MERS-CoV–negative adult relatives, MERS-CoV–positive adult relatives were older and more likely to be male and to have chronic medical conditions. Risk factors for household transmission included sleeping in an index patient’s room and touching respiratory secretions from an index patient. Casual contact and simple proximity were not associated with transmission. Serology was more sensitive than standard rRT-PCR for identifying infected relatives, highlighting the value of including serology in future investigations.

  • Exposure-Specific and Age-Specific Attack Rates for Ebola Virus Disease in Ebola-Affected Households, Sierra Leone PDF Version [PDF - 1.13 MB - 9 pages]
    H. Bower et al.
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    Risk for disease correlated with level of exposure and was lowest for children 5–19 years of age.

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    Using histories of household members of Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors in Sierra Leone, we calculated risk of EVD by age and exposure level, adjusting for confounding and clustering, and estimated relative risks. Of 937 household members in 94 households, 448 (48%) had had EVD. Highly correlated with exposure, EVD risk ranged from 83% for touching a corpse to 8% for minimal contact and varied by age group: 43% for children <2 years of age; 30% for those 5–14 years of age; and >60% for adults >30 years of age. Compared with risk for persons 20–29 years of age, exposure-adjusted relative risks were lower for those 5–9 (0.70), 10–14 (0.64), and 15–19 (0.71) years of age but not for children <2 (0.92) or 2–4 (0.97) years of age. Lower risk for 5–19-year-olds, after adjustment for exposure, suggests decreased susceptibility in this group.

  • Outbreak of Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Ochrobactrum anthropi Infections after Prostate Biopsies, France, 2014 PDF Version [PDF - 900 KB - 8 pages]
    S. Haviari et al.
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    Multiple cases of prostatitis resulted from improper infection control measures.

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    We report an outbreak of healthcare-associated prostatitis involving rare environmental pathogens in immunocompetent patients undergoing transrectal prostate biopsies at Hôpital Édouard Herriot (Lyon, France) during August 13–October 10, 2014. Despite a fluoroquinolone-based prophylaxis, 5 patients were infected with Achromobacter xylosoxidans and 3 with Ochrobactrum anthropi, which has not been reported as pathogenic in nonimmunocompromised persons. All patients recovered fully. Analysis of the outbreak included case investigation, case–control study, biopsy procedure review, microbiologic testing of environmental and clinical samples, and retrospective review of hospital records for 4 years before the outbreak. The cases resulted from asepsis errors during preparation of materials for the biopsies. A low-level outbreak involving environmental bacteria was likely present for years, masked by antimicrobial drug prophylaxis and a low number of cases. Healthcare personnel should promptly report unusual pathogens in immunocompetent patients to infection control units, and guidelines should explicitly mention asepsis during materials preparation.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Cutaneous Melioidosis Cluster Caused by Contaminated Wound Irrigation Fluid PDF Version [PDF - 1.17 MB - 8 pages]
    A. J. Merritt et al.
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    Burkholderia pseudomallei can cause healthcare-associated infections outside its recognized tropical zone.

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    Melioidosis usually occurs after environmental exposure to Burkholderia pseudomallei in the tropics. A cluster of 5 cutaneous melioidosis cases occurred in suburban southwest Australia after an earlier case in January 2012. We collected environmental samples at the first patient’s home in January 2012 and from a nearby health center in December 2013 after 2 new cases occurred in the same postal district. We isolated genotypically identical B. pseudomallei from the first patient and 5 other patients in the district. Environmental sampling implicated an opened bottle of saline wound irrigation fluid containing >106 B. pseudomallei/mL. The bottle included instructions to discard within 24 hours of opening. No further cases of B. pseudomallei infection occurred after removing the contaminated bottle. This cutaneous melioidosis cluster demonstrates that B. pseudomallei can survive and disseminate in widely used medical fluids beyond its known geographic distribution, highlighting a need to use these products according to manufacturers’ instructions.

  • Possible Role of Fish and Frogs as Paratenic Hosts of Dracunculus medinensis, Chad PDF Version [PDF - 320 KB - 3 pages]
    M. L. Eberhard et al.
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    Tadpoles fed infected copepods can harbor infective D. medinensis larvae and thus serve as potential paratenic hosts.

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    Copepods infected with Dracunculus medinensis larvae collected from infected dogs in Chad were fed to 2 species of fish and tadpoles. Although they readily ingested copepods, neither species of fish, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) nor fathead minnow (Pimephalis promelas), were found to harbor Dracunculus larvae when examined 2–3 weeks later. Tadpoles ingested copepods much more slowly; however, upon examination at the same time interval, tadpoles of green frogs (Lithobates [Rana] clamitans) were found to harbor small numbers of Dracunculus larvae. Two ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were fed fish or tadpoles that had been exposed to infected copepods. Only the ferret fed tadpoles harbored developing Dracunculus larvae at necropsy 70–80 days postexposure. These observations confirm that D. medinensis, like other species in the genus Dracunculus, can readily survive and remain infective in potential paratenic hosts, especially tadpoles.

  • Assessment of Community Event–Based Surveillance for Ebola Virus Disease, Sierra Leone, 2015 PDF Version [PDF - 1010 KB - 7 pages]
    R. Ratnayake et al.
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    Case detection improved, but many false alerts were generated, suggesting a need for additional staff training.

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    In 2015, community event–based surveillance (CEBS) was implemented in Sierra Leone to assist with the detection of Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases. We assessed the sensitivity of CEBS for finding EVD cases during a 7-month period, and in a 6-week subanalysis, we assessed the timeliness of reporting cases with no known epidemiologic links at time of detection. Of the 12,126 CEBS reports, 287 (2%) met the suspected case definition, and 16 were confirmed positive. CEBS detected 30% (16/53) of the EVD cases identified during the study period. During the subanalysis, CEBS staff identified 4 of 6 cases with no epidemiologic links. These CEBS-detected cases were identified more rapidly than those detected by the national surveillance system; however, too few cases were detected to determine system timeliness. Although CEBS detected EVD cases, it largely generated false alerts. Future versions of community-based surveillance could improve case detection through increased staff training and community engagement.

  • Time Lags between Exanthematous Illness Attributed to Zika Virus, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and Microcephaly, Salvador, Brazil PDF Version [PDF - 618 KB - 7 pages]
    I. Paploski et al.
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    There is strong evidence of a temporal relationship between virus infection in pregnant women and birth outcome.

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    Zika virus infection emerged as a public health emergency after increasing evidence for its association with neurologic disorders and congenital malformations. In Salvador, Brazil, outbreaks of acute exanthematous illness (AEI) attributed to Zika virus, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and microcephaly occurred in 2015. We investigated temporal correlations and time lags between these outbreaks to identify a common link between them by using epidemic curves and time series cross-correlations. Number of GBS cases peaked after a lag of 5–9 weeks from the AEI peak. Number of suspected cases of microcephaly peaked after a lag of 30–33 weeks from the AEI peak, which corresponded to time of potential infections of pregnant mothers during the first trimester. These findings support the association of GBS and microcephaly with Zika virus infection and provide evidence for a temporal relationship between timing of arboviral infection of pregnant women during the first trimester and birth outcome.

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  • Toward Developing a Preventive MERS-CoV Vaccine—Report from a Workshop Organized by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health and the International Vaccine Institute, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 14–15, 2015 PDF Version [PDF - 822 KB - 7 pages]
    J. Excler et al.
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    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) remains a serious international public health threat. With the goal of accelerating the development of countermeasures against MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), funding agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and researchers across the world assembled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 14–15, 2015, to discuss vaccine development challenges. The meeting was spearheaded by the Saudi Ministry of Health and co-organized by the International Vaccine Institute, South Korea. Accelerating the development of a preventive vaccine requires a better understanding of MERS epidemiology, transmission, and pathogenesis in humans and animals. A combination of rodent and nonhuman primate models should be considered in evaluating and developing preventive and therapeutic vaccine candidates. Dromedary camels should be considered for the development of veterinary vaccines. Several vaccine technology platforms targeting the MERS-CoV spike protein were discussed. Mechanisms to maximize investment, provide robust data, and affect public health are urgently needed.

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