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Volume 11, Number 7—July 2005

Volume 11, Number 7—July 2005   PDF Version [PDF - 5.61 MB - 178 pages]


  • Attributing Illness to Food PDF Version [PDF - 87 KB - 7 pages]
    M. B. Batz et al.
        View Abstract

    Identification and prioritization of effective food safety interventions require an understanding of the relationship between food and pathogen from farm to consumption. Critical to this cause is food attribution, the capacity to attribute cases of foodborne disease to the food vehicle or other source responsible for illness. A wide variety of food attribution approaches and data are used around the world, including the analysis of outbreak data, case-control studies, microbial subtyping and source tracking methods, and expert judgment, among others. The Food Safety Research Consortium sponsored the Food Attribution Data Workshop in October 2003 to discuss the virtues and limitations of these approaches and to identify future options for collecting food attribution data in the United States. We summarize workshop discussions and identify challenges that affect progress in this critical component of a risk-based approach to improving food safety.

  • Wildlife Trade and Global Disease Emergence PDF Version [PDF - 141 KB - 3 pages]
    W. B. Karesh et al.
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    The global trade in wildlife provides disease transmission mechanisms that not only cause human disease outbreaks but also threaten livestock, international trade, rural livelihoods, native wildlife populations, and the health of ecosystems. Outbreaks resulting from wildlife trade have caused hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage globally. Rather than attempting to eradicate pathogens or the wild species that may harbor them, a practical approach would include decreasing the contact rate among species, including humans, at the interface created by the wildlife trade. Since wildlife marketing functions as a system of scale-free networks with major hubs, these points provide control opportunities to maximize the effects of regulatory efforts.

  • Occupational Deaths among Healthcare Workers PDF Version [PDF - 71 KB - 6 pages]
    K. A. Sepkowitz and L. Eisenberg
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    Recent experiences with severe acute respiratory syndrome and the US smallpox vaccination program have demonstrated the vulnerability of healthcare workers to occupationally acquired infectious diseases. However, despite acknowledgment of risk, the occupational death rate for healthcare workers is unknown. In contrast, the death rate for other professions with occupational risk, such as police officer or firefighter, has been well defined. With available information from federal sources and calculating the additional number of deaths from infection by using data on prevalence and natural history, we estimate the annual death rate for healthcare workers from occupational events, including infection, is 17–57 per 1 million workers. However, a much more accurate estimate of risk is needed. Such information could inform future interventions, as was seen with the introduction of safer needle products. This information would also heighten public awareness of this often minimized but essential aspect of patient care.

  • Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Michigan PDF Version [PDF - 145 KB - 7 pages]
    K. E. Macomber et al.
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    The increasing prevalence of quinolone-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (QRNG) in the United States is a cause for concern. Detecting resistance is complicated by the widespread use of molecular tests that do not provide isolates for susceptibility testing. The Michigan Department of Community Health developed a sentinel surveillance program to detect antimicrobial drug resistance in N. gonorrhoeae. Sentinel surveillance from 11 laboratories submitted 1,122 isolates for antimicrobial drug susceptibility testing and detected 2 clusters of QRNG from January 2003 to September 2004. These clusters were epidemiologically distinct: one involved young, heterosexual youth, and the other involved older men who have sex with men. This finding led to changes in local treatment recommendations that limited spread of resistant strains. Development of the sentinel program, collection of data, and epidemiologic analysis of the clusters are discussed.


  • SARS Vaccine Development PDF Version [PDF - 95 KB - 5 pages]
    S. Jiang et al.
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    Developing effective and safe vaccines is urgently needed to prevent infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)–associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine may be the first one available for clinical use because it is easy to generate; however, safety is the main concern. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV is the major inducer of neutralizing antibodies, and the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the S1 subunit of S protein contains multiple conformational neutralizing epitopes. This suggests that recombinant proteins containing RBD and vectors encoding the RBD sequence can be used to develop safe and effective SARS vaccines.


  • West Nile Virus–associated Flaccid Paralysis PDF Version [PDF - 218 KB - 7 pages]
    J. J. Sejvar et al.
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    The causes and frequency of acute paralysis and respiratory failure with West Nile virus (WNV) infection are incompletely understood. During the summer and fall of 2003, we conducted a prospective, population-based study among residents of a 3-county area in Colorado, United States, with developing WNV-associated paralysis. Thirty-two patients with developing paralysis and acute WNV infection were identified. Causes included a poliomyelitislike syndrome in 27 (84%) patients and a Guillain-Barré–like syndrome in 4 (13%); 1 had brachial plexus involvement alone. The incidence of poliomyelitislike syndrome was 3.7/100,000. Twelve patients (38%), including 1 with Guillain-Barré–like syndrome, had acute respiratory failure that required endotracheal intubation. At 4 months, 3 patients with respiratory failure died, 2 remained intubated, 25 showed various degrees of improvement, and 2 were lost to followup. A poliomyelitislike syndrome likely involving spinal anterior horn cells is the most common mechanism of WNV-associated paralysis and is associated with significant short- and long-term illness and death.

  • Primate-to-Human Retroviral Transmission in Asia PDF Version [PDF - 292 KB - 8 pages]
    L. Jones-Engel et al.
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    We describe the first reported transmission to a human of simian foamy virus (SFV) from a free-ranging population of nonhuman primates in Asia. The transmission of an exogenous retrovirus, SFV, from macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to a human at a monkey temple in Bali, Indonesia, was investigated with molecular and serologic techniques. Antibodies to SFV were detected by Western blotting of serum from 1 of 82 humans tested. SFV DNA was detected by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from the blood of the same person. Cloning and sequencing of PCR products confirmed the virus's close phylogenetic relationship to SFV isolated from macaques at the same temple. This study raises concerns that persons who work at or live around monkey temples are at risk for infection with SFV.

  • Influenza A H5N1 Replication Sites in Humans PDF Version [PDF - 357 KB - 6 pages]
    M. Uiprasertkul et al.
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    Tissue tropism and pathogenesis of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 disease in humans is not well defined. In mammalian experimental models, H5N1 influenza is a disseminated disease. However, limited previous data from human autopsies have not shown evidence of virus dissemination beyond the lung. We investigated a patient with fatal H5N1 influenza. Viral RNA was detected by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction in lung, intestine, and spleen tissues, but positive-stranded viral RNA indicating virus replication was confined to the lung and intestine. Viral antigen was detected in pneumocytes by immunohistochemical tests. Tumor necrosis factor-α mRNA was seen in lung tissue. In contrast to disseminated infection documented in other mammals and birds, H5N1 viral replication in humans may be restricted to the lung and intestine, and the major site of H5N1 viral replication in the lung is the pneumocyte.

  • Nipah Virus in Lyle's Flying Foxes, Cambodia PDF Version [PDF - 218 KB - 6 pages]
    J. Reynes et al.
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    We conducted a survey in Cambodia in 2000 on henipavirus infection among several bat species, including flying foxes, and persons exposed to these animals. Among 1,072 bat serum samples tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, antibodies reactive to Nipah virus (NiV) antigen were detected only in Pteropus lylei species; Cynopterus sphinx, Hipposideros larvatus, Scotophilus kuhlii, Chaerephon plicata, Taphozous melanopogon, and T. theobaldi species were negative. Seroneutralization applied on a subset of 156 serum samples confirmed these results. None of the 8 human serum samples was NiV seropositive with the seroneutralization test. One virus isolate exhibiting cytopathic effect with syncytia was obtained from 769 urine samples collected at roosts of P. lylei specimens. Partial molecular characterization of this isolate demonstrated that it was closely related to NiV. These results strengthen the hypothesis that flying foxes could be the natural host of NiV. Surveillance of human cases should be implemented.

  • Leptospirosis in Germany, 1962–2003 PDF Version [PDF - 229 KB - 6 pages]
    A. Jansen et al.
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    Epidemiologic trends of human leptospirosis in Germany were investigated by analyzing national surveillance data from 1962 to 2003 and by conducting a questionnaire-based survey from 1997 to 2000. After a steady decrease of leptospirosis incidence from 1962 to 1997, surveillance data indicate an increase in disease incidence to 0.06 per 100,000 (1998–2003). Of 102 laboratory-confirmed cases in humans from 1997 to 2000, 30% were related to occupational exposures. Recreational exposures were reported in 30% (including traveling abroad in 16%), whereas residential exposure accounted for 37% of the cases. Direct contact with animals, mostly rats and dogs, was observed in 31% of the cases. We conclude that recent changes in transmission patterns of leptospirosis, partially caused by an expanding rat population and the resurgence of canine leptospirosis, may facilitate the spread of the disease in temperate countries like Germany. Preventive measures should be adapted to the changing epidemiology of leptospirosis.

  • Survey of Tickborne Infections in Denmark PDF Version [PDF - 193 KB - 7 pages]
    S. Skarphédinsson et al.
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    We conducted a study of the distribution and prevalence of tickborne infections in Denmark by using roe deer as sentinels. Blood samples from 237 roe deer were collected during the 2002–2003 hunting season. Overall, 36.6% of deer were Borrelia seropositive, while 95.6% were Anaplasma phagocytophilum positive; all animals were negative for Bartonella quintana and B. henselae by indirect immunofluorescence assay. When a hemagglutination-inhibition test was used, 8.7% of deer were found positive for tickborne encephalitis (TBE)-complex virus. A total of 42.6% were found positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for A. phagocytophilum with significant seasonal variation. All were PCR negative for Rickettsia helvetica. PCR and sequencing also showed a novel bacterium in roe deer previously only found in ticks. The study showed that the emerging pathogen A. phagocytophilum is widely distributed and that a marked shift has occurred in the distribution of TBE-complex virus in Denmark. This finding supports studies that predict alterations in distribution due to climatic changes.

  • Risk Factors for Pediatric Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disease PDF Version [PDF - 80 KB - 5 pages]
    S. H. Factor et al.
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    Invasive group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections can be fatal and can occur in healthy children. A case-control study identified factors associated with pediatric disease. Case-patients were identified when Streptococcus pyogenes was isolated from a normally sterile site, and matched controls (≥2) were identified by using sequential-digit dialing. All participants were noninstitutionalized surveillance-area residents <18 years of age. Conditional regression identified factors associated with invasive disease: other children living in the home (odds ratio [OR] = 16.85, p = 0.0002) and new use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (OR = 10.64, p = 0.005) were associated with increased risk. More rooms in the home (OR = 0.67, p = 0.03) and household member(s) with runny nose (OR = 0.09, p = 0.002) were associated with decreased risk. Among children, household-level characteristics that influence exposure to GAS most affect development of invasive disease.

  • Emergency Department Response to SARS, Taiwan PDF Version [PDF - 217 KB - 7 pages]
    W. Chen et al.
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    How emergency departments of different levels and types cope with a large-scale contagious infectious disease is unclear. We retrospectively analyzed the response of 100 emergency departments regarding use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementation of infection control measures (ICMs) during the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in Taiwan. Emergency department workers in large hospitals were more severely affected by the epidemic. Large hospitals or public hospitals were more likely to use respirators. Small hospitals implemented more restrictive ICMs. Most emergency departments provided PPE (80%) and implemented ICMs (66%) at late stages of the outbreak. Instructions to use PPE or ICMs more frequently originated by emergency department administrators. The difficulty of implementing ICMs was significantly negatively correlated with their effectiveness. Because ability to prepare for and respond to emerging infectious diseases varies among hospitals, grouping infectious patients in a centralized location in an early stage of infection may reduce the extent of epidemics.

  • Human Metapneumovirus Genetic Variability, South Africa PDF Version [PDF - 79 KB - 5 pages]
    H. P. Ludewick et al.
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    The molecular epidemiology and genetic diversity of the human metapneumovirus (hMPV) were characterized for a 3-year period (2000–2002) from viruses that were identified in South Africa. Two major genetic groups (A and B) and 2 subgroups (1 and 2) of hMPV were identified, as well as 2–6 possible genotypes within the subgroups. A shift in the predominant group was documented in successive seasons. Whereas the F gene was relatively conserved between subgroups, a high degree of variation was observed in the extracellular domain of the G gene of the virus. The G protein identities between groups A and B were 45.1%–53.1% at the nucleotide level and 22.4%–27.6% at the amino acid level. These results provide evidence for the diversity of both surface glycoproteins of hMPV in Africa, which may be a prerequisite to understanding protective immunity against hMPV.

  • Norovirus Recombination in ORF1/ORF2 Overlap PDF Version [PDF - 244 KB - 7 pages]
    R. Bull et al.
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    Norovirus (NoV) genogroups I and II (GI and GII) are now recognized as the predominant worldwide cause of outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in humans. Three recombinant NoV GII isolates were identified and characterized, 2 of which are unrelated to any previously published recombinant NoV. Using data from the current study, published sequences, database searches, and molecular techniques, we identified 23 recombinant NoV GII and 1 recombinant NoV GI isolates. Analysis of the genetic relationships among the recombinant NoV GII isolates identified 9 independent recombinant sequences; the other 14 strains were close relatives. Two of the 9 independent recombinant NoV were closely related to other recombinants only in the polymerase region, and in a similar fashion 1 recombinant NoV was closely related to another only in the capsid region. Breakpoint analysis of recombinant NoV showed that recombination occurred in the open reading frame (ORF)1/ORF2 overlap. We provide evidence to support the theory of the role of subgenomic RNA promoters as recombination hotspots and describe a simple mechanism of how recombination might occur in NoV.

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