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Volume 14, Number 11—November 2008

Volume 14, Number 11—November 2008   PDF Version [PDF - 7.87 MB - 155 pages]


  • Framework for Leadership and Training of Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory Workers PDF Version [PDF - 110 KB - 4 pages]
    J. W. Le Duc et al.
       View Abstract

    Construction of several new Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories and expansion of existing operations have created an increased international demand for well-trained staff and facility leaders. Directors of most North American BSL-4 laboratories met and agreed upon a framework for leadership and training of biocontainment research and operations staff. They agreed on essential preparation and training that includes theoretical consideration of biocontainment principles, practical hands-on training, and mentored on-the-job experiences relevant to positional responsibilities as essential preparation before a person’s independent access to a BSL-4 facility. They also agreed that the BSL-4 laboratory director is the key person most responsible for ensuring that staff members are appropriately prepared for BSL-4 operations. Although standardized certification of training does not formally exist, the directors agreed that facility-specific, time-limited documentation to recognize specific skills and experiences of trained persons is needed.

  • Antimicrobial Drug–Selection Markers for Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei PDF Version [PDF - 135 KB - 4 pages]
    H. P. Schweizer and S. J. Peacock
       View Abstract

    Genetic research into the select agents Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei is currently hampered by a paucity of approved antimicrobial drug–selection markers. The strict regulations imposed on researchers in the United States but not in other parts of the world lead to discrepancies in practice, hinder distribution of genetically modified strains, and impede progress in the field. Deliberation and decisions regarding alternative selection markers (antimicrobial and nonantimicrobial drugs) by the international community, regulatory authorities, and funding agencies are needed.


  • Molecular Epidemiology of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Rural Southwestern Alaska PDF Version [PDF - 205 KB - 7 pages]
    M. Z. David et al.
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    USA300 is the dominant strain responsible for community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in most of the United States. We examined isolates from outbreaks of MRSA skin infections in rural southwestern Alaska in 1996 and 2000 (retrospective collection) and from the hospital serving this region in 2004–2006 (prospective collection). Among 36 retrospective collection isolates, 92% carried Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes; all carried staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) type IV. None belonged to clonal complex (CC) 8, the CC associated with USA300; 57% were sequence type (ST) 1, and 26% were ST30; 61% were clindamycin resistant. In the prospective collection, 42 isolates were PVL+ and carried SCCmec type IV; 83.3% were ST1, 9.5% were ST30, and 7.1% were ST8. Among 120 prospective isolates, 57.5% were clindamycin resistant. CA-MRSA epidemiology in southwestern Alaska differs from that in the lower 48 states; ST8 strains were rarely identified and clindamycin resistance was common.

  • Multidrug- and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, Germany PDF Version [PDF - 120 KB - 7 pages]
    B. Eker et al.
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    We evaluated risk factors and treatment outcomes associated with multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) in Germany in 2004–2006. In 177 (4%) of 4,557 culture-positive TB cases, Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were identified as MDR TB; an additional 7 (0.15%) met criteria for XDR TB. Of these 184 patients, 148 (80%) were born in countries of the former Soviet Union. In patients with XDR TB, hospitalization was longer (mean ± SD 202 ± 130 vs. 123 ± 81 days; p = 0.015) and resistance to all first-line drugs was more frequent (36% vs. 86%; p = 0.013) than in patients with MDR TB. Seventy-four (40%) of these 184 patients received treatment with linezolid. Treatment success rates ranged from 59% for the entire cohort (59% for MDR TB and 57% for XDR TB) to 87% for those with a definitive outcome (n = 125; 89% for MDR TB and 80% for XDR TB). Extensive drug susceptibility testing and availability of second- and third-line drugs under inpatient management conditions permit relatively high treatment success rates in MDR- and XDR TB.

  • Mixture for Controlling Insecticide-Resistant Malaria Vectors PDF Version [PDF - 311 KB - 8 pages]
    C. Pennetier et al.
       View Abstract

    The spread of resistance to pyrethroids in the major Afrotropical malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae s.s. necessitates the development of new strategies to control resistant mosquito populations. To test the efficacy of nets treated with repellent and insecticide against susceptible and insecticide-resistant An. gambiae mosquito populations, we impregnated mosquito bed nets with an insect repellent mixed with a low dose of organophosphorous insecticide and tested them in a rice-growing area near Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. During the first 2 weeks posttreatment, the mixture was as effective as deltamethrin alone and was more effective at killing An. gambiae that carried knockdown resistance (kdr) or insensitive acetylcholinesterase resistance (Ace1R) genes. The mixture seemed to not kill more susceptible genotypes for the kdr or Ace1R alleles. Mixing repellents and organophosphates on bed nets could be used to control insecticide-resistant malaria vectors if residual activity of the mixture is extended and safety is verified.

  • Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis 
Outbreak among US-bound Hmong 
Refugees, Thailand, 2005 PDF Version [PDF - 178 KB - 7 pages]
    J. E. Oeltmann et al.
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    In January 2005, tuberculosis (TB), including multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB), was reported among Hmong refugees who were living in or had recently immigrated to the United States from a camp in Thailand. We investigated TB and drug resistance, enhanced TB screenings, and expanded treatment capacity in the camp. In February 2005, 272 patients with TB (24 MDR TB) remained in the camp. Among 17 MDR TB patients interviewed, 13 were found to be linked socially. Of 23 MDR TB isolates genotyped, 20 were similar according to 3 molecular typing methods. Before enhanced screening was implemented, 46 TB cases (6 MDR TB) were diagnosed in the United States among 9,455 resettled refugees. After enhanced screening had begun, only 4 TB cases (1 MDR TB), were found among 5,705 resettled refugees. An MDR TB outbreak among US-bound refugees led to importation of disease; enhanced pre-immigration TB screening and treatment decreased subsequent importation.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Antimicrobial Drug Use and Resistance in Europe PDF Version [PDF - 207 KB - 9 pages]
    N. van de Sande-Bruinsma et al.
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    Our study confronts the use of antimicrobial agents in ambulatory care with the resistance trends of 2 major pathogens, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Escherichia coli, in 21 European countries in 2000–2005 and explores whether the notion that antimicrobial drug use determines resistance can be supported by surveillance data at national aggregation levels. The data obtained from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption and the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System suggest that variation of consumption coincides with the occurrence of resistance at the country level. Linear regression analysis showed that the association between antimicrobial drug use and resistance was specific and robust for 2 of 3 compound pathogen combinations, stable over time, but not sensitive enough to explain all of the observed variations. Ecologic studies based on routine surveillance data indicate a relation between use and resistance and support interventions designed to reduce antimicrobial drug consumption at a national level in Europe.

  • Replacement of Sublineages of Avian Influenza (H5N1) by Reassortments, Sub-Saharan Africa PDF Version [PDF - 227 KB - 5 pages]
    A. A. Owoade et al.
       View Abstract

    Eight new full-length sequences from highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (H5N1) from 4 states in southwest Nigeria were analyzed. All gene sequences were more closely related to the first strains found in Nigeria in 2006 than to any strain found outside the country. Six viruses had evolved by at least 3 reassortment events (ACHA/NS, ACNS) from previously identified sublineages A (EMA 2) and C (EMA 1). Our results suggest that highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (H5N1) initially imported into Nigeria in 2006 have been gradually replaced by various reassortments. In all reassortants, nonstructural genes were derived from sublineage C with 2 characteristic amino acids (compared with sublineage A). If the high prevalence of reassortants was typical for West Africa in 2007, the absence of such reassortants anywhere else suggests that reintroductions of influenza A (H5N1) from Africa into Eurasia must be rare.



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