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Volume 13, Number 11—November 2007

Volume 13, Number 11—November 2007   PDF Version [PDF - 10.39 MB - 187 pages]


  • Conflict and Emerging Infectious Diseases PDF Version [PDF - 293 KB - 7 pages]
    M. Gayer et al.
        View Abstract

    Detection and control of emerging infectious diseases in conflict situations are major challenges due to multiple risk factors known to enhance emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. These include inadequate surveillance and response systems, destroyed infrastructure, collapsed health systems and disruption of disease control programs, and infection control practices even more inadequate than those in resource-poor settings, as well as ongoing insecurity and poor coordination among humanitarian agencies. This article outlines factors that potentiate emergence and transmission of infectious diseases in conflict situations and highlights several priority actions for their containment and control.

  • Danish Integrated Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Program PDF Version [PDF - 186 KB - 8 pages]
    A. M. Hammerum et al.
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    Resistance to antimicrobial agents is an emerging problem worldwide. Awareness of the undesirable consequences of its widespread occurrence has led to the initiation of antimicrobial agent resistance monitoring programs in several countries. In 1995, Denmark was the first country to establish a systematic and continuous monitoring program of antimicrobial drug consumption and antimicrobial agent resistance in animals, food, and humans, the Danish Integrated Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Program (DANMAP). Monitoring of antimicrobial drug resistance and a range of research activities related to DANMAP have contributed to restrictions or bans of use of several antimicrobial agents in food animals in Denmark and other European Union countries.

  • Growing Problem of Multidrug-Resistant Enteric Pathogens in Africa PDF Version [PDF - 249 KB - 7 pages]
    I. N. Okeke et al.
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    Control of fecal–orally transmitted pathogens is inadequate in many developing countries, in particular, in sub-Saharan Africa. Acquired resistance to antimicrobial drugs is becoming more prevalent among Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella enteritidis, diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, and other pathogens in this region. The poor, who experience most of the infections caused by these organisms, bear the brunt of extended illness and exacerbated proportion of deaths brought about by resistance. Improved antimicrobial drug stewardship is an often cited, but inadequately implemented, intervention for resistance control. Resistance containment also requires improvements in infectious disease control, access to and quality assurance of antimicrobial agents, as well as diagnostic facilities. Structural improvements along these lines will also enhance disease prevention and control as well as rational antimicrobial drug use. Additionally, more research is needed to identify low-cost, high-impact interventions for resistance control.


  • Literature Review and Case Histories of Histoplasma capsulatum var. duboisii Infections in HIV-infected Patients PDF Version [PDF - 167 KB - 6 pages]
    P. Loulergue et al.
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    African histoplasmosis caused by Histoplasma capsulatum var. duboisii is an invasive fungal infection endemic in central and west Africa. Most of its ecology and pathogenesis remain unknown. H. capsulatum var. capsulatum is an AIDS-defining opportunistic infection in HIV-infected patients who are living in or have traveled to histoplasmosis-endemic areas. In contrast, reports concerning African histoplasmosis during HIV infection are rare, although both pathogens coexist in those regions. We report 3 cases of imported African histoplasmosis diagnosed in France in HIV-infected patients and a literature review on similar cases.


  • Mycobacterium ulcerans in Mosquitoes Captured during Outbreak of Buruli Ulcer, Southeastern Australia PDF Version [PDF - 494 KB - 8 pages]
    P. D. Johnson et al.
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    Buruli ulcer (BU) occurs in >30 countries. The causative organism, Mycobacterium ulcerans, is acquired from the environment, but the exact mode of transmission is unknown. We investigated an outbreak of BU in a small coastal town in southeastern Australia and screened by PCR mosquitoes caught there. All cases of BU were confirmed by culture or PCR. Mosquitoes were trapped in multiple locations during a 26-month period. BU developed in 48 residents of Point Lonsdale/Queenscliff and 31 visitors from January 2001 through April 2007. We tested 11,504 mosquitoes trapped at Point Lonsdale (predominantly Aedes camptorhynchus). Forty-eight pools (5 species) were positive for insertion sequence IS2404 (maximum likelihood estimate 4.3/1,000), and we confirmed the presence of M. ulcerans in a subset of pools by detection of 3 additional PCR targets.

  • Risk Factors for Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection, Southeastern Australia PDF Version [PDF - 226 KB - 6 pages]
    T. Y. Quek et al.
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    Buruli/Bairnsdale ulcer (BU) is a severe skin and soft tissue disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. To better understand how BU is acquired, we conducted a case–control study during a sustained outbreak in temperate southeastern Australia. We recruited 49 adult patients with BU and 609 control participants from a newly recognized BU-endemic area in southeastern Australia. Participants were asked about their lifestyle and insect exposure. Odds ratios were calculated by using logistic regression and were adjusted for age and location of residence. Odds of having BU were at least halved for those who frequently used insect repellent, wore long trousers outdoors, and immediately washed minor skin wounds; odds were at least doubled for those who received mosquito bites on the lower legs or lower arms. This study provides new circumstantial evidence that implicates mosquitoes in the transmission of M. ulcerans in southeastern Australia.

  • Protection and Virus Shedding of Falcons Vaccinated against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A Virus (H5N1) PDF Version [PDF - 431 KB - 8 pages]
    M. Lierz et al.
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    Because fatal infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) virus subtype H5N1 have been reported in birds of prey, we sought to determine detailed information about the birds’ susceptibility and protection after vaccination. Ten falcons vaccinated with an inactivated influenza virus (H5N2) vaccine seroconverted. We then challenged 5 vaccinated and 5 nonvaccinated falcons with HPAI (H5N1). All vaccinated birds survived; all unvaccinated birds died within 5 days. For the nonvaccinated birds, histopathologic examination showed tissue degeneration and necrosis, immunohistochemical techniques showed influenza virus antigen in affected tissues, and these birds shed high levels of infectious virus from the oropharynx and cloaca. Vaccinated birds showed no influenza virus antigen in tissues and shed virus at lower titers from the oropharynx only. Vaccination could protect these valuable birds and, through reduced virus shedding, reduce risk for transmission to other avian species and humans.

  • Distribution of Eosinophilic Meningitis Cases Attributable to Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Hawaii PDF Version [PDF - 302 KB - 6 pages]
    N. S. Hochberg et al.
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    During November 2004–January 2005, 5 cases of eosinophilic meningitis (EM) attributable to Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection were reported in Hawaii. To determine if this temporal clustering reflected an increased incidence, we ascertained EM and A. cantonensis cases by systematic review of statewide laboratory and medical records for January 2001–February 2005 and generalized the data to population estimates. We identified 83 EM cases; 24 (29%) were attributed to A. cantonensis infection, which was included in the discharge diagnoses for only 2 cases. Comparison of A. cantonensis infection incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) for the baseline (January 2001–October 2004) and cluster (November 2004–February 2005) periods showed statistically significant increases for the state as a whole (0.3 vs. 2.1), the Big Island of Hawaii (1.1 vs. 7.4), and Maui County (0.4 vs. 4.3). These findings underscore the need to consider the diagnosis of A. cantonensis infection, especially in the state of Hawaii.

  • Human Salmonella and Concurrent Decreased Susceptibility to Quinolones and Extended-Spectrum Cephalosporins PDF Version [PDF - 485 KB - 8 pages]
    J. M. Whichard et al.
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    The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System monitors susceptibility among Enterobacteriaceae in humans in the United States. We studied isolates exhibiting decreased susceptibility to quinolones (nalidixic acid MIC >32 µg/mL or ciprofloxacin MIC >0.12 µg/mL) and extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ceftiofur or ceftriaxone MIC >2 µg/mL) during 1996–2004. Of non-Typhi Salmonella, 0.19% (27/14,043) met these criteria: 11 Senftenberg; 6 Typhimurium; 3 Newport; 2 Enteridis; and 1 each Agona, Haifa, Mbandaka, Saintpaul, and Uganda. Twenty-six isolates had gyrA mutations (11 at codon 83 only, 3 at codon 87 only, 12 at both). All Senftenberg isolates had parC mutations (S80I and T57S); 6 others had the T57S mutation. The Mbandaka isolate contained qnrB2. Eight isolates contained blaCMY-2; 1 Senftenberg contained blaCMY-23. One Senftenberg and 1Typhimurium isolate contained blaSHV-12; the Mbandaka isolate contained blaSHV-30. Nine Senftenberg isolates contained blaOXA-1; 1 contained blaOXA-9. Further studies should address patient outcomes, risk factors, and resistance dissemination prevention strategies.

  • Non-A Hepatitis B Virus Genotypes in Antenatal Clinics, United Kingdom PDF Version [PDF - 240 KB - 5 pages]
    S. Dervisevic et al.
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    In the United Kingdom, the National Screening Programme for identification of hepatitits B virus (HBV) infection in pregnant women uses HBV e antigen (HBeAg) and antibody to HBeAg (anti-HBe) as markers of infectivity to determine use of immunoglobulin for hepatitis B. Serum samples from 114 HBV-infected women were analyzed. Viral loads correlated with HBeAg/anti-HBe status and viral genotypes. Among 95 mothers whose serum contained anti-HBe, viral loads ranged between undetectable and 8.6 × 106 IU/mL (median 228 IU/mL). Ten (10.5%) of these mothers had plasma viral loads >104 IU/mL; 6 were infected with genotype E and one each with genotypes A, B, C, and D. All viruses had precore stop codon or basal core promoter mutations. Preponderance of genotypes other than A among antenatal mothers in the United Kingdom reflects increasing globalization and trends in immigration. HBeAg serostatus is no longer sufficiently accurate for inferring potential infectivity of pregnant HBV carriers.

  • Epidemiology of Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis in Tropical Communities, Northern Australia PDF Version [PDF - 298 KB - 7 pages]
    M. McDonald et al.
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    Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (groups C and G streptococci [GCS/GGS]) is an increasingly recognized human pathogen, although it may follow indirect pathways. Prospective surveillance of selected households in 3 remote Aboriginal communities in Australia provided 337 GCS/GGS isolates that were emm sequence-typed. Lancefield group C isolates (GCS) were localized to specific households and group G isolates (GGS) were more evenly distributed. GCS/GGS was more frequently recovered from the throat than group A streptococci (GAS [S. pyogenes]) but rarely recovered from skin sores, and then only with Staphylococcus aureus or GAS. Symptomatic GGS/GGC pharyngitis was also rare. Specific emm sequence types of GCS/GGS did not appear to cycle through the communities (sequential strain replacement) in a manner suggesting acquisition of type-specific immunity. These communities already have high levels of streptococcal and poststreptococcal disease. GCS/GGS may increase in importance as it acquires key virulence factors from GAS by lateral gene transfer.

  • Genetic Diversity among Clonal Lineages within Escherichia coli O157:H7 Stepwise Evolutionary Model
    P. C. Feng et al.
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    Escherichia coli O157:H7 variants were examined for trait mutations and by molecular subtyping to better define clonal complexes postulated on the O157:H7 evolution model. Strains of β-glucuronidase–positive, sorbitol-negative O157:H7 isolated in United States and Japan were identical to A5 clonal strain and shared sequence type (ST)–65 by multilocus sequence typing (MLST); thus, they belong in A5. However, these strains exhibited pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profile differences that suggested genomic divergence between populations. Sorbitol-fermenting O157 (SFO157) strains from Finland, Scotland, and Germany were identical to A4 clonal strain and belong in A4. Some SFO157 strains, isolated years apart and from different countries, had identical PFGE profiles, suggesting a common origin. Despite similarities, some Finnish and Scottish and all of the German strains have ST-75 (“German clone”), whereas others have ST-76, a new variant (“Scottish clone”). MLST of strains in other clonal complexes also discriminated strains thought to be identical and showed that genetic differences will further distinguish clonal populations into subclones.

  • Methamphetamine Use and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infections PDF Version [PDF - 262 KB - 7 pages]
    A. L. Cohen et al.
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    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and methamphetamine use are emerging public health problems. We conducted a case–control investigation to determine risk factors for MRSA skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in residents of a largely rural southeastern community in the United States. Case-patients were persons >12 years old who had culturable SSTIs; controls had no SSTIs. Of 119 SSTIs identified, 81 (68.1%) were caused by MRSA. Methamphetamine use was reported in 9.9% of case-patients and 1.8% of controls. After we adjusted for age, sex, and race, patients with MRSA SSTIs were more likely than controls to have recently used methamphetamine (odds ratio 5.10, 95% confidence interval 1.55–16.79). MRSA caused most SSTIs in this population. Transmission of MRSA may be occurring among methamphetamine users in this community.

  • Pandemic Influenza and Hospital Resources PDF Version [PDF - 397 KB - 6 pages]
    R. E. Nap et al.
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    Using estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and published models of the expected evolution of pandemic influenza, we modeled the surge capacity of healthcare facility and intensive care unit (ICU) requirements over time in northern Netherlands (≈1.7 million population). We compared the demands of various scenarios with estimates of maximum ICU capacity, factoring in healthcare worker absenteeism as well as reported and realistic estimates derived from semistructured telephone interviews with key management in ICUs in the study area. We show that even during the peak of the pandemic, most patients requiring ICU admission may be served, even those who have non–influenza-related conditions, provided that strong indications and decision-making rules are maintained for admission as well as for continuation (or discontinuation) of life support. Such a model should be integral to a preparedness plan for a pandemic with a new human-transmissible agent.

  • Role of Terrestrial Wild Birds in Ecology of Influenza A Virus (H5N1) PDF Version [PDF - 361 KB - 5 pages]
    A. C. Boon et al.
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    House sparrows, European starlings, and Carneux pigeons were inoculated with 4 influenza A (H5N1) viruses isolated from different avian species. We monitored viral replication, death after infection, and transmission to uninfected contact birds of the same species. Sparrows were susceptible to severe infection; 66%–100% of birds died within 4–7 days. High levels of virus were detected from oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs and in organs of deceased sparrows. Inoculation of starlings caused no deaths, despite high levels of virus shedding evident in oropharyngeal swabs. Least susceptible were pigeons, which had no deaths and very low levels of virus in oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs. Transmission to contact birds did not occur frequently: only A/common magpie/Hong Kong/645/2006 virus was shown to transmit to 1 starling. In summary, recent influenza (H5N1) viruses are pathogenic for small terrestrial bird species but the rate of intraspecies transmission in these hosts is very low.

  • Canonical Insertion-Deletion Markers for Rapid DNA Typing of Francisella tularensis PDF Version [PDF - 460 KB - 8 pages]
    P. Larsson et al.
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    To develop effective and accurate typing of strains of Francisella tularensis, a potent human pathogen and a putative bioterrorist agent, we combined analysis of insertion-deletion (indel) markers with multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). From 5 representative F. tularensis genome sequences, 38 indel markers with canonical properties, i.e., capable of sorting strains into major genetic groups, were selected. To avoid markers with a propensity for homoplasy, we used only those indels with 2 allelic variants and devoid of substantial sequence repeats. MLVA included sequences with much diversity in copy number of tandem repeats. The combined procedure allowed subspecies division, delineation of clades A.I and A.II of subspecies tularensis, differentiation of Japanese strains from other strains of subspecies holarctica, and high-resolution strain typing. The procedure uses limited amounts of killed bacterial preparations and, because only 1 single analytic method is needed, is time- and cost-effective.

  • Epidemiologic and Virologic Investigation of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, Southern Vietnam, 2005 PDF Version [PDF - 461 KB - 9 pages]
    P. Van Tu et al.
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    During 2005, 764 children were brought to a large children’s hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with a diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease. All enrolled children had specimens (vesicle fluid, stool, throat swab) collected for enterovirus isolation by cell culture. An enterovirus was isolated from 411 (53.8%) of the specimens: 173 (42.1%) isolates were identified as human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) and 214 (52.1%) as coxsackievirus A16. Of the identified HEV71 infections, 51 (29.5%) were complicated by acute neurologic disease and 3 (1.7%) were fatal. HEV71 was isolated throughout the year, with a period of higher prevalence in October–November. Phylogenetic analysis of 23 HEV71 isolates showed that during the first half of 2005, viruses belonging to 3 subgenogroups, C1, C4, and a previously undescribed subgenogroup, C5, cocirculated in southern Vietnam. In the second half of the year, viruses belonging to subgenogroup C5 predominated during a period of higher HEV71 activity.


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