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Volume 15, Number 4—April 2009

Volume 15, Number 4—April 2009   PDF Version [PDF - 7.33 MB - 175 pages]

THEME ISSUE
The Amazon Region

Commentary

Synopsis

  • High Incidence of Diseases Endemic to the Amazon Region of Brazil, 2001–2006 PDF Version [PDF - 413 KB - 7 pages]
    G. Penna et al.
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    In Brazil, reportable diseases are the responsibility of the Secretariat of Health Surveillance of the Brazilian Federal Ministry of Health. During 2001–2006, to determine incidence and hospitalization rates, we analyzed 5 diseases (malaria, leishmaniasis [cutaneous and visceral], dengue fever, leprosy, and tuberculosis) that are endemic to the Amazon region of Brazil. Data were obtained from 773 municipalities in 3 regions. Although incidence rates of malaria, leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, and leprosy are decreasing, persons in lower socioeconomic classes with insufficient formal education are affected more by these diseases and other health inequalities than are other population groups in the region.

Research

  • Human Febrile Illness Caused by Encephalomyocarditis Virus Infection, Peru PDF Version [PDF - 356 KB - 7 pages]
    M. Oberste et al.
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    Etiologic studies of acute febrile disease were conducted in sites across South America, including Cusco and Iquitos, Peru. Patients’ clinical signs and symptoms were recorded, and acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples were obtained for serologic examination and virus isolation in Vero E6 and C6/36 cells. Virus isolated in Vero E6 cells was identified as encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) by electron microscopy and by subsequent molecular diagnostic testing of samples from 2 febrile patients with nausea, headache, and dyspnea. The virus was recovered from acute-phase serum samples from both case-patients and identified with cardiovirus-specific reverse transcription–PCR and sequencing. Serum samples from case-patient 1 showed cardiovirus antibody by immunoglobulin M ELISA (acute phase <8, convalescent phase >1,024) and by neutralization assay (acute phase <10, convalescent phase >1,280). Serum samples from case-patient 2 did not contain antibodies detectable by either assay. Detection of virus in serum strongly supports a role for EMCV in human infection and febrile illness.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Acute Conjunctivitis with Episcleritis and Anterior Uveitis Linked to Adiaspiromycosis and Freshwater Sponges, Amazon Region, Brazil, 2005 PDF Version [PDF - 350 KB - 7 pages]
    M. O. Mendes et al.
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    An epidemiologic investigation of an ocular disease outbreak among children was linked to the unusual fungus Emmonsia sp., an agent of adiaspiromycosis.

        View Abstract

    We conducted an epidemiologic investigation of an outbreak of ocular disease among children to determine whether the disease was linked to Emmonsia sp., a rarely-reported fungus and an agent of adiaspiromycosis. Using an unmatched case–control study design, we compared case-patients with asymptomatic controls randomly selected from the population. Scleral biopsies were analyzed microscopically. Of 5,084 children examined, 99 case-patients were identified; mean age (+1 SD) was 11.0 ± 4.4 years. Symptoms included photophobia (57%), ocular pain (42%), and blurred vision (40%). In the multivariate analysis, risk factors included diving in the Araguaia River (odds ratio 5.2; 95% confidence interval 2.4–12.0). Microscopy identified foreign bodies consistent with adiaconidia. This outbreak probably resulted from foreign-body–type reactions to adiaspiromycosis conidia after initial irritation caused by conjunctival contact with spicules of sponges in the river. Symptomatic children responded to corticosteroid treatment. Adiaspiromycosis is a preventable cause of ocular disease in the Amazon region.

Dispatch

Letters

Volume 15, Number 4—April 2009 - Continued

Research

  • Experimental Infection of Potential Reservoir Hosts with Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus, Mexico PDF Version [PDF - 348 KB - 7 pages]
    E. R. Deardorff et al.
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    In 1993, an outbreak of encephalitis among 125 affected equids in coastal Chiapas, Mexico, resulted in a 50% case-fatality rate. The outbreak was attributed to Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) subtype IE, not previously associated with equine disease and death. To better understand the ecology of this VEEV strain in Chiapas, we experimentally infected 5 species of wild rodents and evaluated their competence as reservoir and amplifying hosts. Rodents from 1 species (Baiomys musculus) showed signs of disease and died by day 8 postinoculation. Rodents from the 4 other species (Liomys salvini, Oligoryzomys fulvescens, Oryzomys couesi, and Sigmodon hispidus) became viremic but survived and developed neutralizing antibodies, indicating that multiple species may contribute to VEEV maintenance. By infecting numerous rodent species and producing adequate viremia, VEEV may increase its chances of long-term persistence in nature and could increase risk for establishment in disease-endemic areas and amplification outside the disease-endemic range.

  • Exotic Small Mammals as Potential Reservoirs of Zoonotic Bartonella spp. PDF Version [PDF - 267 KB - 7 pages]
    K. Inoue et al.
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    To evaluate the risk for emerging human infections caused by zoonotic Bartonella spp. from exotic small mammals, we investigated the prevalence of Bartonella spp. in 546 small mammals (28 species) that had been imported into Japan as pets from Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle and Near East. We obtained 407 Bartonella isolates and characterized them by molecular phylogenetic analysis of the citrate synthase gene, gltA. The animals examined carried 4 zoonotic Bartonella spp. that cause human endocarditis and neuroretinitis and 6 novel Bartonella spp. at a high prevalence (26.0%, 142/546). We conclude that exotic small mammals potentially serve as reservoirs of several zoonotic Bartonella spp.

  • Enhancing Time-Series Detection Algorithms for Automated Biosurveillance PDF Version [PDF - 287 KB - 7 pages]
    J. I. Tokars et al.
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    BioSense is a US national system that uses data from health information systems for automated disease surveillance. We studied 4 time-series algorithm modifications designed to improve sensitivity for detecting artificially added data. To test these modified algorithms, we used reports of daily syndrome visits from 308 Department of Defense (DoD) facilities and 340 hospital emergency departments (EDs). At a constant alert rate of 1%, sensitivity was improved for both datasets by using a minimum standard deviation (SD) of 1.0, a 14–28 day baseline duration for calculating mean and SD, and an adjustment for total clinic visits as a surrogate denominator. Stratifying baseline days into weekdays versus weekends to account for day-of-week effects increased sensitivity for the DoD data but not for the ED data. These enhanced methods may increase sensitivity without increasing the alert rate and may improve the ability to detect outbreaks by using automated surveillance system data.

  • Animal Reservoir Hosts and Fish-borne Zoonotic Trematode Infections on Fish Farms, Vietnam PDF Version [PDF - 1.32 MB - 7 pages]
    N. T. Anh et al.
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    Fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZT) pose a risk to human food safety and health and may cause substantial economic losses in the aquaculture industry. In Nghe An Province, Vietnam, low prevalence of FZT for fish farmers but high prevalence for fish indicate that reservoir hosts other than humans may play a role in sustaining transmission. To determine whether domestic animals may be reservoir hosts, we assessed prevalence and species composition of FZT infections in dogs, cats, and pigs in a fish-farming community in Vietnam. Feces from 35 cats, 80 dogs, and 114 pigs contained small trematode eggs at 48.6%, 35.0%, and 14.4%, respectively; 7 species of adult FZT were recovered from these hosts. These results, combined with data from previous investigations in this community, imply that domestic animals serve as reservoir hosts for FZT and therefore must be included in any control programs to prevent FZT infection in humans.

  • Novel Type of Streptococcus pneumoniae Causing Multidrug-Resistant Acute Otitis Media in Children PDF Version [PDF - 210 KB - 5 pages]
    Q. Xu et al.
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    After our recent discovery of a Streptococcus pneumoniae 19A “superbug” (Legacy strain) that is resistant to all Food and Drug Administration–approved antimicrobial drugs for treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) in children, other S. pneumoniae isolates from children with AOM were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Among 40 isolates studied, 16 (40%) were serotype 19A, and 9 (23%) were resistant to multiple antimicrobial drugs. Two others had unreported sequence types (STs) that expressed the 19A capsule, and 8 (88%) of the 9 multidrug-resistant strains were serotype 19A, including the Legacy strain with the new ST-2722. In genetic relatedness, ST-2722 belonged to a cluster of reported strains of S. pneumoniae in which all strains had 6 of the same alleles as ST-156. The multidrug-resistant strains related to ST-156 expressed different capsular serotypes: 9V, 14, 11A, 15C, and 19F.

  • Oseltamivir-Resistant Influenza Virus A (H1N1), Europe, 2007–08 Season PDF Version [PDF - 396 KB - 9 pages]
    A. Meijer et al.
        View Abstract

    In Europe, the 2007–08 winter season was dominated by influenza virus A (H1N1) circulation through week 7, followed by influenza B virus from week 8 onward. Oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses A (H1N1) (ORVs) with H275Y mutation in the neuraminidase emerged independently of drug use. By country, the proportion of ORVs ranged from 0% to 68%, with the highest proportion in Norway. The average weighted prevalence of ORVs across Europe increased gradually over time, from near 0 in week 40 of 2007 to 56% in week 19 of 2008 (mean 20%). Neuraminidase genes of ORVs possessing the H275Y substitution formed a homogeneous subgroup closely related to, but distinguishable from, those of oseltamivir-sensitive influenza viruses A (H1N1). Minor variants of ORVs emerged independently, indicating multiclonal ORVs. Overall, the clinical effect of ORVs in Europe, measured by influenza-like illness or acute respiratory infection, was unremarkable and consistent with normal seasonal activity.

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Central Plateau, Southeastern, and Southern Brazil PDF Version [PDF - 190 KB - 7 pages]
    L. T. Figueiredo et al.
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    Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is an increasing health problem in Brazil because of encroachment of sprawling urban, agricultural, and cattle-raising areas into habitats of subfamily Sigmodontinae rodents, which serve as hantavirus reservoirs. From 1993 through June 2007, a total of 884 cases of HPS were reported in Brazil (case-fatality rate 39%). To better understand this emerging disease, we collected 89 human serum samples and 68 rodent lung samples containing antibodies to hantavirus from a 2,500-km-wide area in Brazil. RNA was isolated from human samples and rodent tissues and subjected to reverse transcription–PCR. Partial sequences of nucleocapsid protein and glycoprotein genes from 22 human and 16 rodent sources indicated only Araraquara virus and Juquitiba virus lineages. The case-fatality rate of HPS was higher in the area with Araraquara virus. This virus, which may be the most virulent hantavirus in Brazil, was associated with areas that have had greater anthropogenic changes.

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