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Emerging Infectious Diseases journal

Expedited Ahead-of-Print Articles

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Synopses

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Treatment Outcomes for Patients with Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces, South Africa PDF Version [PDF - 582 KB - 8 pages]
    C. L. Kvasnovsky et al.
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    Results underscore the need for timely and adequate treatment for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

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    We analyzed data for a retrospective cohort of patients treated for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in 2 provinces in South Africa and compared predictors of treatment outcome in HIV-positive patients who received or had not received antiretroviral drugs with those for HIV-negative patients. Overall, 220 (62.0%) of 355 patients were HIV positive. After 2 years, 34 (10.3%) of 330 patients with a known HIV status and known outcome had a favorable outcome. Multivariate analysis showed that predictors of favorable outcome were negative results for acid-fast bacilli by sputum microscopy at start of treatment and weight >50 kg. HIV-positive patients were more likely to have an unfavorable outcome. The strongest predictor of unfavorable outcome was weight <50 kg. Overall outcomes were poor. HIV status was not a predictor of favorable outcome, but HIV-positive patients were more likely to have an unfavorable outcome. These results underscore the need for timely and adequate treatment for tuberculosis and HIV infection.

  • Clinical Features of and Risk Factors for Fatal Ebola Virus Disease, Moyamba District, Sierra Leone, December 2014–February 2015 PDF Version [PDF - 515 KB - 8 pages]
    Y. Haaskjold et al.
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    Awareness of risk factors for death could help identify patients in need of more intensive medical support.

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    The 2013–2016 outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa infected >28,000 people, including >11,000 who died, and disrupted social life in the region. We retrospectively studied clinical signs and symptoms and risk factors for fatal outcome among 31 Ebola virus–positive patients admitted to the Ebola Treatment Center in Moyamba District, Sierra Leone. We found a higher rate of bleeding manifestations than reported elsewhere during the outbreak. Significant predictors for death were shorter time from symptom onset to admission, male sex, high viral load on initial laboratory testing, severe pain, diarrhea, bloody feces, and development of other bleeding manifestations during hospitalization. These risk factors for death could be used to identify patients in need of more intensive medical support. The lack of fever in as many as one third of EVD cases may have implications for temperature-screening practices and case definitions.

Research

  • Travel- and Community-Based Transmission of Multidrug-Resistant Shigella sonnei Lineage among International Orthodox Jewish Communities PDF Version [PDF - 986 KB - 9 pages]
    K. S. Baker et al.
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    Shigellosis trends in these communities provide insight into global movement of drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

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    Shigellae are sensitive indicator species for studying trends in the international transmission of antimicrobial-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Orthodox Jewish communities (OJCs) are a known risk group for shigellosis; Shigella sonnei is cyclically epidemic in OJCs in Israel, and sporadic outbreaks occur in OJCs elsewhere. We generated whole-genome sequences for 437 isolates of S. sonnei from OJCs and non-OJCs collected over 22 years in Europe (the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium), the United States, Canada, and Israel and analyzed these within a known global genomic context. Through phylogenetic and genomic analysis, we showed that strains from outbreaks in OJCs outside of Israel are distinct from strains in the general population and relate to a single multidrug-resistant sublineage of S. sonnei that prevails in Israel. Further Bayesian phylogenetic analysis showed that this strain emerged approximately 30 years ago, demonstrating the speed at which antimicrobial drug–resistant pathogens can spread widely through geographically dispersed, but internationally connected, communities.

  • Feasibility of Using Convalescent Plasma Immunotherapy for MERS-CoV Infection, Saudi Arabia PDF Version [PDF - 1.17 MB - 8 pages]
    Y. M. Arabi et al.
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    Efficacy testing will be challenging because of the small pool of donors with sufficiently high antibody titers.

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    We explored the feasibility of collecting convalescent plasma for passive immunotherapy of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection by using ELISA to screen serum samples from 443 potential plasma donors: 196 patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV infection, 230 healthcare workers, and 17 household contacts exposed to MERS-CoV. ELISA-reactive samples were further tested by indirect fluorescent antibody and microneutralization assays. Of the 443 tested samples, 12 (2.7%) had a reactive ELISA result, and 9 of the 12 had reactive indirect fluorescent antibody and microneutralization assay titers. Undertaking clinical trials of convalescent plasma for passive immunotherapy of MERS-CoV infection may be feasible, but such trials would be challenging because of the small pool of potential donors with sufficiently high antibody titers. Alternative strategies to identify convalescent plasma donors with adequate antibody titers should be explored, including the sampling of serum from patients with more severe disease and sampling at earlier points during illness.

  • Prediction of Protection against Asian Enterovirus 71 Outbreak Strains by Cross-neutralizing Capacity of Serum from Dutch Donors, The Netherlands PDF Version [PDF - 1.04 MB - 8 pages]
    S. van der Sanden et al.
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    Herd immunity induced by locally circulating strains could provide protection against introduction of new strains.

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    Outbreaks of human enterovirus 71 (EV-71) in Asia are related to high illness and death rates among children. To gain insight into the potential threat for the population of Europe, we determined the neutralizing activity in intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) batches and individual serum samples from donors in the Netherlands against EV-71 strains isolated in Europe and in Asia. All IVIg batches and 41%, 79%, and 65% of serum samples from children ≤5 years of age, women of childbearing age, and HIV-positive men, respectively, showed high neutralizing activity against a Dutch C1 strain, confirming widespread circulation of EV-71 in the Netherlands. Asian B3–4 and C4 strains were efficiently cross-neutralized, predicting possible protection against extensive circulation and associated outbreaks of those types in Europe. However, C2 and C5 strains that had few mutations in the capsid region consistently escaped neutralization, emphasizing the importance of monitoring antigenic diversity among circulating EV-71 strains.

  • Staphylococcus aureus Regulatory RNAs as Potential Biomarkers for Bloodstream Infections PDF Version [PDF - 1.57 MB - 9 pages]
    V. Bordeau et al.
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    These RNAs predict disease severity and provide targets for therapeutic approaches.

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    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal bacterium and pathogen. Identifying biomarkers for the transition from colonization to disease caused by this organism would be useful. Several S. aureus small RNAs (sRNAs) regulate virulence. We investigated presence and expression of 8 sRNAs in 83 S. aureus strains from 42 patients with sepsis or septic shock and 41 asymptomatic colonized carriers. Small pathogenicity island sRNAs sprB and sprC were clade specific. Six sRNAs had variable expression not correlated with clinical status. Expression of RNAIII was lower in strains from septic shock patients than in strains from colonized patients. When RNAIII was associated with expression of sprD, colonizing strains could be discriminated from strains in patients with bloodstream infections, including patients with sepsis and septic shock. Isolates associated with colonization might have sRNAs with target expression different from those of disease isolates. Monitoring expression of RNAIII and sprD could help determine severity of bloodstream infections.

  • Ebola Virus Disease, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2014 PDF Version [PDF - 606 KB - 10 pages]
    C. Nanclares et al.
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    Differences from other outbreaks could suggest guidance for optimizing clinical management and disease control.

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    During July–November 2014, the Democratic Republic of the Congo underwent its seventh Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. The etiologic agent was Zaire Ebola virus; 66 cases were reported (overall case-fatality rate 74.2%). Through a retrospective observational study of confirmed EVD in 25 patients admitted to either of 2 Ebola treatment centers, we described clinical features and investigated correlates associated with death. Clinical features were mainly generic. At admission, 76% of patients had >1 gastrointestinal symptom and 28% >1 hemorrhagic symptom. The case-fatality rate in this group was 48% and was higher for female patients (67%). Cox regression analysis correlated death with initial low cycle threshold, indicating high viral load. Cycle threshold was a robust predictor of death, as were fever, hiccups, diarrhea, dyspnea, dehydration, disorientation, hematemesis, bloody feces during hospitalization, and anorexia in recent medical history. Differences from other outbreaks could suggest guidance for optimizing clinical management and disease control.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Use of Testing for West Nile Virus and Other Arboviruses PDF Version [PDF - 510 KB - 7 pages]
    J. Vanichanan et al.
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    For patients with meningitis and encephalitis, testing for these viruses is underutilized.

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    In the United States, the most commonly diagnosed arboviral disease is West Nile virus (WNV) infection. Diagnosis is made by detecting WNV IgG or viral genomic sequences in serum or cerebrospinal fluid. To determine frequency of this testing in WNV-endemic areas, we examined the proportion of tests ordered for patients with meningitis and encephalitis at 9 hospitals in Houston, Texas, USA. We identified 751 patients (567 adults, 184 children), among whom 390 (52%) experienced illness onset during WNV season (June–October). WNV testing was ordered for 281 (37%) of the 751; results indicated acute infection for 32 (11%). Characteristics associated with WNV testing were acute focal neurologic deficits; older age; magnetic resonance imaging; empirically prescribed antiviral therapy; worse clinical outcomes: and concomitant testing for mycobacterial, fungal, or other viral infections. Testing for WNV is underutilized, and testing of patients with more severe disease raises the possibility of diagnostic bias in epidemiologic studies.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Fluoroquinolone-Resistant and Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase–Producing Escherichia coli Infections in Patients with Pyelonephritis, United States PDF Version [PDF - 908 KB - 10 pages]
    D. A. Talan et al.
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    Prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance now exceeds treatment guideline thresholds for alternative antimicrobial drug strategies.

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    For 2013–2014, we prospectively identified US adults with flank pain, temperature >38.0°C, and a diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis, confirmed by culture. Cultures from 453 (86.9%) of 521 patients grew Escherichia coli. Among E. coli isolates from 272 patients with uncomplicated pyelonephritis and 181 with complicated pyelonephritis, prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance across study sites was 6.3% (range by site 0.0%–23.1%) and 19.9% (0.0%–50.0%), respectively; prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production was 2.6% (0.0%–8.3%) and 12.2% (0.0%–17.2%), respectively. Ten (34.5%) of 29 patients with ESBL infection reported no exposure to antimicrobial drugs, healthcare, or travel. Of the 29 patients with ESBL infection and 53 with fluoroquinolone-resistant infection, 22 (75.9%) and 24 (45.3%), respectively, were initially treated with in vitro inactive antimicrobial drugs. Prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance exceeds treatment guideline thresholds for alternative antimicrobial drug strategies, and community-acquired ESBL-producing E. coli infection has emerged in some US communities.

  • Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Hybrid Pathotype O80:H2 as a New Therapeutic Challenge PDF Version [PDF - 1.14 MB - 9 pages]
    N. Soysal et al.
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    This emerging clonal group harbors the extraintestinal virulence–associated plasmid pS88 and can induce invasive infections and death.

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    We describe the epidemiology, clinical features, and molecular characterization of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infections caused by the singular hybrid pathotype O80:H2, and we examine the influence of antibiotics on Shiga toxin production. In France, during 2005–2014, a total of 54 patients were infected with EHEC O80:H2; 91% had hemolytic uremic syndrome. Two patients had invasive infections, and 2 died. All strains carried stx2 (variants stx2a, 2c, or 2d); the rare intimin gene (eae-ξ); and at least 4 genes characteristic of pS88, a plasmid associated with extraintestinal virulence. Similar strains were found in Spain. All isolates belonged to the same clonal group. At subinhibitory concentrations, azithromycin decreased Shiga toxin production significantly, ciprofloxacin increased it substantially, and ceftriaxone had no major effect. Antibiotic combinations that included azithromycin also were tested. EHEC O80:H2, which can induce hemolytic uremic syndrome complicated by bacteremia, is emerging in France. However, azithromycin might effectively combat these infections.

  • Elevated Risk for Antimicrobial Drug–Resistant Shigella Infection among Men Who Have Sex with Men, United States, 2011–2015 PDF Version [PDF - 494 KB - 4 pages]
    A. Bowen et al.
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    These men were 3–77 times more likely than other persons to have shigellae resistant to >1 key drugs.

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    Shigella spp. cause ≈500,000 illnesses in the United States annually, and resistance to ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, and azithromycin is emerging. We investigated associations between transmission route and antimicrobial resistance among US shigellosis clusters reported during 2011–2015. Of 32 clusters, 9 were caused by shigellae resistant to ciprofloxacin (3 clusters), ceftriaxone (2 clusters), or azithromycin (7 clusters); 3 clusters were resistant to >1 of these drugs. We observed resistance to any of these drugs in all 7 clusters among men who have sex with men (MSM) but in only 2 of the other 25 clusters (p<0.001). Azithromycin resistance was more common among MSM-associated clusters than other clusters (86% vs. 4% of clusters; p<0.001). For adults with suspected shigellosis, clinicians should culture feces; obtain sex histories; discuss shigellosis prevention; and choose treatment, when needed, according to antimicrobial drug susceptibility. Public health interviews for enteric illnesses should encompass sex practices; health messaging for MSM must include shigellosis prevention.

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