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Volume 16, Number 1—January 2010

Volume 16, Number 1—January 2010   PDF Version [PDF - 4.25 MB - 187 pages]


  • Medscape CME Activity
    Public Health Threat of New, Reemerging, and Neglected Zoonoses in the Industrialized World PDF Version [PDF - 180 KB - 8 pages]
    S. J. Cutler et al.
       View Abstract

    Microbiologic infections acquired from animals, known as zoonoses, pose a risk to public health. An estimated 60% of emerging human pathogens are zoonotic. Of these pathogens, >71% have wildlife origins. These pathogens can switch hosts by acquiring new genetic combinations that have altered pathogenic potential or by changes in behavior or socioeconomic, environmental, or ecologic characteristics of the hosts. We discuss causal factors that influence the dynamics associated with emergence or reemergence of zoonoses, particularly in the industrialized world, and highlight selected examples to provide a comprehensive view of their range and diversity.

  • Laboratory Surge Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Outbreak, New York City Metropolitan Area, USA PDF Version [PDF - 111 KB - 6 pages]
    J. M. Crawford et al.
       View Abstract

    The North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System Laboratories serve 15 hospitals and affiliated regional physician practices in the New York City metropolitan area, with virus testing performed at a central reference laboratory. The influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 outbreak began in this area on April 24, 2009, and within weeks respiratory virus testing increased 7.5 times. In response, laboratory and client service workforces were increased, physical plant build-out was completed, testing paradigms were converted from routine screening tests and viral culture to a high-capacity molecular assay for respiratory viruses, laboratory information system interfaces were built, and same-day epidemiologic reports were produced. Daily review by leadership of data from emergency rooms, hospital facilities, and the Health System Laboratories enabled real-time management of unfolding events. The ability of System laboratories to rapidly increase to high-volume comprehensive diagnostics, including influenza A subtyping, provided key epidemiologic information for local and state public health departments.

  • Projecting Global Occurrence of Cryptococcus gattii PDF Version [PDF - 142 KB - 7 pages]
    D. J. Springer and V. Chaturvedi
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    Cryptococcus gattii and C. neoformans cause pulmonary and systemic cryptococcosis. Recently, C. gattii was recognized as a distinct pathogen of humans and animals. We analyzed information from 400 publications (1948–2008) to examine whether the fungus occurs globally. Known distribution of C. gattii is possibly limited because specialized reagents for differentiation from C. neoformans are not readily available and not always used, and environmental surveys are patchy. However, autochthonous reports of C. gattii cryptococcosis have now been recognized from tropical and temperate regions. An ongoing outbreak in western Canada strengthens the case that the range of the pathogen has expanded. A few studies have highlighted differences in cryptococcosis between C. gattii and C. neoformans. More than 50 tree species have yielded C. gattii especially from decayed hollows suggesting a possible ecologic niche. This pathogen merits more attention so its environmental occurrence and role in cryptococcosis can be accurately determined.


  • Epidemiology of Travel-associated Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Infection in 116 Patients, Singapore PDF Version [PDF - 308 KB - 6 pages]
    P. Mukherjee et al.
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    In June 2009, during Singapore’s pandemic influenza plan containment phase, pandemic (H1N1) 2009 was introduced into the country through imported cases. To understand how travel patterns affected the initial outbreak, we examined epidemiologic and travel data for the first 116 case-patients admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, with travel-associated infection. Sixty-one percent and 54% of patients, respectively, met US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization temperature criteria for influenza-like illness. One fourth of the case-patients traveled after illness onset, and 15% became ill while traveling. Regions of exposure for imported infections changed rapidly; case-patients initially arrived from North America, followed by Australasia and Southeast Asia. Case-patients on longer flights were more likely to become ill before arrival; those with shorter flights tended to become ill after arrival. Thermal scanners detected fevers in 12% of the arriving case-patients, resulting in a shorter time to isolation.

  • Severe Pneumonia Associated with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Outbreak, San Luis Potosí, Mexico PDF Version [PDF - 280 KB - 8 pages]
    A. Gómez-Gómez et al.
       View Abstract

    We describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of adults hospitalized with pneumonia during the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 outbreak. Patients admitted to a general hospital in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, from April 10 through May 11, 2009, suspected to have influenza virus–associated pneumonia were evaluated. We identified 50 patients with suspected influenza pneumonia; the presence of influenza virus was confirmed in 18: 11 with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, 5 with unsubtypeable influenza A virus, 1 with seasonal influenza A virus (H3N2), and 1 in whom assay results for seasonal and pandemic (H1N1) 2009 viruses were positive. Eighteen patients were treated in the intensive care unit, and 10 died. During the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 outbreak, severe pneumonia developed in young adults who had no identifiable risk factors; early diagnosis and treatment of influenza virus infections may have a determinant role in outcome.

  • Worldwide Dissemination of the bla Carbapenemase Gene of Acinetobacter baumannii PDF Version [PDF - 276 KB - 6 pages]
    P. D. Mugnier et al.
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    To assess dissemination of OXA-23–producing strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, we obtained 20 carbapenem-resistant, OXA-23–producing isolates from different regions. Their clonal relationship was assessed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. We identified 8 sequence types, including 4 novel types. All except 2 strains belonged to 2 main European clonal lineages. The blaOXA-23 gene was either located on the chromosome or on plasmids and associated with 4 genetic structures.

  • Recombinant Canine Coronaviruses in Dogs, Europe PDF Version [PDF - 266 KB - 7 pages]
    N. Decaro et al.
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    Coronaviruses of potential recombinant origin with porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), referred to as a new subtype (IIb) of canine coronavirus (CCoV), were recently identified in dogs in Europe. To assess the distribution of the TGEV-like CCoV subtype, during 2001–2008 we tested fecal samples from dogs with gastroenteritis. Of 1,172 samples, 493 (42.06%) were positive for CCoV. CCoV-II was found in 218 samples, and CCoV-I and CCoV-II genotypes were found in 182. Approximately 20% of the samples with CCoV-II had the TGEV-like subtype; detection rates varied according to geographic origin. The highest and lowest rates of prevalence for CCoV-II infection were found in samples from Hungary and Greece (96.87% and 3.45%, respectively). Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that the CCoV-IIb strains were related to prototype TGEV-like strains in the 5′ and the 3′ ends of the spike protein gene.

  • Ceftiofur Resistance in Salmonella enterica Serovar Heidelberg from Chicken Meat and Humans, Canada PDF Version [PDF - 278 KB - 7 pages]
    L. Dutil et al.
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    The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance describes a strong correlation (r = 0.9, p<0.0001) between ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg isolated from retail chicken and incidence of ceftiofur-resistant Salmonella serovar Heidelberg infections in humans across Canada. In Québec, changes of ceftiofur resistance in chicken Salmonella Heidelberg and Escherichia coli isolates appear related to changing levels of ceftiofur use in hatcheries during the study period, from highest to lowest levels before and after a voluntary withdrawal, to increasing levels after reintroduction of use (62% to 7% to 20%, and 34% to 6% to 19%, respectively). These events provide evidence that ceftiofur use in chickens results in extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistance in bacteria from chicken and humans. To ensure the continued effectiveness of extended-spectrum cephalosporins for treating serious infections in humans, multidisciplinary efforts are needed to scrutinize and, where appropriate, limit use of ceftiofur in chicken production in Canada.

  • Healthcare-associated Viral Gastroenteritis among Children in a Large Pediatric Hospital, United Kingdom PDF Version [PDF - 339 KB - 8 pages]
    N. A. Cunliffe et al.
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    Viruses are the major pathogens of community-acquired (CA) acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children, but their role in healthcare-associated (HA) AGE is poorly understood. Children with AGE hospitalized at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, UK, were enrolled over a 2-year period. AGE was classified as HA if diarrhea developed >48 hours after admission. Rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus 40/41, astrovirus, and sapovirus were detected by PCR. A total of 225 children with HA-AGE and 351 with CA-AGE were enrolled in the study. HA viral gastroenteritis constituted one fifth of the diarrheal diseases among hospitalized children and commonly occurred in critical care areas. We detected >1 virus in 120 (53%) of HA-AGE cases; rotavirus (31%), norovirus (16%), and adenovirus 40/41 (15%) were the predominant viruses identified. Molecular evidence indicated rotaviruses and noroviruses were frequently introduced into the hospital from the community. Rotavirus vaccines could substantially reduce the incidence of HA-AGE in children.

  • Meningitis and a Febrile Vomiting illness Caused by Echovirus Type 4, Northern Territory, Australia PDF Version [PDF - 318 KB - 6 pages]
    P. G. Markey et al.
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    In July 2007, a cluster of meningitis cases caused by an echovirus 4 strain was detected in 1 indigenous community in the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. Illness was characterized by fever, vomiting, and headache. Over the next 4 months, additional cases of meningitis and the fever and vomiting syndrome emerged in other indigenous communities and subsequently in the major urban center of Darwin. We describe the epidemiology of 95 laboratory-confirmed meningitis cases and conclude that the epidemic fever and vomiting syndrome was caused by the same enterovirus. Nucleotide sequencing of the whole genome verified this enterovirus (AUS250G) as a strain of echovirus type 4. Viral protein 1 nucleotide sequencing demonstrated 96% homology with an echovirus 4 strain responsible for a large outbreak of meningitis in the Yanbian Prefecture of China in 1996.

  • Methicillin-Resistant and -Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Infections in Dogs PDF Version [PDF - 250 KB - 7 pages]
    M. C. Faires et al.
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    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a pathogen of animals. To compare types of infections, clinical outcomes, and risk factors associated with MRSA in dogs with those associated with methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections, we conducted a case–control study at 3 veterinary referral hospitals in the United States and Canada during 2001–2007. Risk factors analyzed were signalment, medical and surgical history, and infection site. Among 40 dogs with MRSA and 80 with MSSA infections, highest prevalence of both infections was found in skin and ears. Although most (92.3%) dogs with MRSA infections were discharged from the hospital, we found that significant risk factors for MRSA infection were receipt of antimicrobial drugs (odds ratio [OR] 3.84, p = 0.02), β-lactams (OR 3.58, p = 0.04), or fluoroquinolones (OR 5.34, p = 0.01), and intravenous catheterization (OR 3.72, p = 0.02). Prudent use of antimicrobial drugs in veterinary hospitals is advised.

  • Actinobaculum schaalii, a Common Uropathogen in Elderly Patients, Denmark PDF Version [PDF - 212 KB - 5 pages]
    S. Bank et al.
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    Actinobaculum schaalii can cause urinary tract infections and septicemia but is difficult to identify by cultivation. To obtain a fast diagnosis and identify A. schaalii, we developed a TaqMan real-time quantitative PCR. Routine urine samples were obtained from 177 hospitalized patients and 75 outpatients in Viborg County, Denmark, in 2008–2009. The PCR detected A. schaalii in 22% of samples from patients >60 years of age. This assay showed that A. schaalii is more common than implied by routine cultivation. In 90% of PCR-positive urine samples, other common uropathogens were identified. This finding suggests that A. schaalii is a common, undetected, bacterial pathogen. Our results suggest that A. schaalii may be a more common pathogen than previously thought, especially in patients with unexplained chronic urinary tract infections, who are often treated with trimethoprim or ciprofloxacin, to which A. schaalii is resistant.

  • Norovirus Gastroenteritis Outbreak with a Secretor-independent Susceptibility Pattern, Sweden PDF Version [PDF - 242 KB - 7 pages]
    J. Nordgren et al.
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    Norovirus (NoV) is recognized as the commonest cause of acute gastroenteritis among adults. Susceptibility to disease has been associated with histo-blood group antigens and secretor status; nonsecretors are almost completely resistant to disease. We report a foodborne outbreak of GI.3 NoV gastroenteritis that affected 33/83 (40%) persons. Symptomatic disease was as likely to develop in nonsecretors as in secretors (odds ratio [OR] 1.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.46–4.36 vs. OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.23–2.18, p = 0.57). Moreover, no statistical difference in susceptibility was found between persons of different Lewis or ABO phenotypes. The capsid gene of the outbreak strain shares high amino acid homology with the Kashiwa645 GI.3 strain, previously shown to recognize nonsecretor saliva, as well as synthetic Lewis a. This norovirus outbreak affected persons regardless of secretor status or Lewis or ABO phenotypes.

  • Food Reservoir for Escherichia coli Causing Urinary Tract Infections PDF Version [PDF - 479 KB - 8 pages]
    C. Vincent et al.
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    Closely related strains of Escherichia coli have been shown to cause extraintestinal infections in unrelated persons. This study tests whether a food reservoir may exist for these E. coli. Isolates from 3 sources over the same time period (2005–2007) and geographic area were compared. The sources comprised prospectively collected E. coli isolates from women with urinary tract infection (UTI) (n = 353); retail meat (n = 417); and restaurant/ready-to-eat foods (n = 74). E. coli were evaluated for antimicrobial drug susceptibility and O:H serotype and compared by using 4 different genotyping methods. We identified 17 clonal groups that contained E. coli isolates (n = 72) from >1 source. E. coli from retail chicken (O25:H4-ST131 and O114:H4-ST117) and honeydew melon (O2:H7-ST95) were indistinguishable from or closely related to E. coli from human UTIs. This study provides strong support for the role of food reservoirs or foodborne transmission in the dissemination of E. coli causing common community-acquired UTIs.



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