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Volume 17, Number 7—July 2011

Volume 17, Number 7—July 2011   PDF Version [PDF - 5.59 MB - 191 pages]


  • Understanding the Cholera Epidemic, Haiti PDF Version [PDF - 413 KB - 8 pages]
    R. Piarroux et al.
        View Abstract

    After onset of a cholera epidemic in Haiti in mid-October 2010, a team of researchers from France and Haiti implemented field investigations and built a database of daily cases to facilitate identification of communes most affected. Several models were used to identify spatiotemporal clusters, assess relative risk associated with the epidemic’s spread, and investigate causes of its rapid expansion in Artibonite Department. Spatiotemporal analyses highlighted 5 significant clusters (p<0.001): 1 near Mirebalais (October 16–19) next to a United Nations camp with deficient sanitation, 1 along the Artibonite River (October 20–28), and 3 caused by the centrifugal epidemic spread during November. The regression model indicated that cholera more severely affected communes in the coastal plain (risk ratio 4.91) along the Artibonite River downstream of Mirebalais (risk ratio 4.60). Our findings strongly suggest that contamination of the Artibonite and 1 of its tributaries downstream from a military camp triggered the epidemic.

  • Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis, Argentina PDF Version [PDF - 264 KB - 4 pages]
    Y. Romer et al.
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    Rickettsia parkeri, a recently identified cause of spotted fever rickettsiosis in the United States, has been found in Amblyomma triste ticks in several countries of South America, including Argentina, where it is believed to cause disease in humans. We describe the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of 2 patients in Argentina with confirmed R. parkeri infection and 7 additional patients with suspected R. parkeri rickettsiosis identified at 1 hospital during 2004–2009. The frequency and character of clinical signs and symptoms among these 9 patients closely resembled those described for patients in the United States (presence of an inoculation eschar, maculopapular rash often associated with pustules or vesicles, infrequent gastrointestinal manifestations, and relatively benign clinical course). Many R. parkeri infections in South America are likely to be misdiagnosed as other infectious diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, dengue, or leptospirosis.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Neurognathostomiasis, a Neglected Parasitosis of the Central Nervous System PDF Version [PDF - 323 KB - 7 pages]
    J. Katchanov et al.
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    Gnathostomiasis is a foodborne zoonotic helminthic infection caused by the third-stage larvae of Gnathostoma spp. nematodes. The most severe manifestation involves infection of the central nervous system, neurognathostomiasis. Although gnathostomiasis is endemic to Asia and Latin America, almost all neurognathostomiasis cases are reported from Thailand. Despite high rates of illness and death, neurognathostomiasis has received less attention than the more common cutaneous form of gnathostomiasis, possibly because of the apparent geographic confinement of the neurologic infection to 1 country. Recently, however, the disease has been reported in returned travelers in Europe. We reviewed the English-language literature on neurognathostomiasis and analyzed epidemiology and geographic distribution, mode of central nervous system invasion, pathophysiology, clinical features, neuroimaging data, and treatment options. On the basis of epidemiologic data, clinical signs, neuroimaging, and laboratory findings, we propose diagnostic criteria for neurognathostomiasis.


  • Effectiveness of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine against Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Virus, Australia, 2010 PDF Version [PDF - 225 KB - 7 pages]
    J. E. Fielding et al.
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    To estimate effectiveness of seasonal trivalent and monovalent influenza vaccines against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus, we conducted a test-negative case–control study in Victoria, Australia, in 2010. Patients seen for influenza-like illness by general practitioners in a sentinel surveillance network during 2010 were tested for influenza; vaccination status was recorded. Case-patients had positive PCRs for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, and controls had negative influenza test results. Of 319 eligible patients, test results for 139 (44%) were pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus positive. Adjusted effectiveness of seasonal vaccine against pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus was 79% (95% confidence interval 33%–93%); effectiveness of monovalent vaccine was 47% and not statistically significant. Vaccine effectiveness was higher among adults. Despite some limitations, this study indicates that the first seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine to include the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus strain provided significant protection against laboratory-confirmed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 infection.

  • Transmission of Influenza on International Flights, May 2009 PDF Version [PDF - 305 KB - 7 pages]
    A. Foxwell et al.
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    Understanding the dynamics of influenza transmission on international flights is necessary for prioritizing public health response to pandemic incursions. A retrospective cohort study to ascertain in-flight transmission of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and influenza-like illness (ILI) was undertaken for 2 long-haul flights entering Australia during May 2009. Combined results, including survey responses from 319 (43%) of 738 passengers, showed that 13 (2%) had an ILI in flight and an ILI developed in 32 (5%) passengers during the first week post arrival. Passengers were at 3.6% increased risk of contracting pandemic (H1N1) 2009 if they sat in the same row as or within 2 rows of persons who were symptomatic preflight. A closer exposed zone (2 seats in front, 2 seats behind, and 2 seats either side) increased the risk for postflight disease to 7.7%. Efficiency of contact tracing without compromising the effectiveness of the public health intervention might be improved by limiting the exposed zone.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, United States, 1993–2009 PDF Version [PDF - 273 KB - 7 pages]
    A. MacNeil et al.
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    Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory illness identified in 1993. Since its identification, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has obtained standardized information about and maintained a registry of all laboratory-confirmed HPS cases in the United States. During 1993–2009, a total of 510 HPS cases were identified. Case counts have varied from 11 to 48 per year (case-fatality rate 35%). However, there were no trends suggesting increasing or decreasing case counts or fatality rates. Although cases were reported in 30 states, most cases occurred in the western half of the country; annual case counts varied most in the southwestern United States. Increased hematocrits, leukocyte counts, and creatinine levels were more common in HPS case-patients who died. HPS is a severe disease with a high case-fatality rate, and cases continue to occur. The greatest potential for high annual HPS incidence exists in the southwestern United States.

  • Hansen Disease among Micronesian and Marshallese Persons Living in the United States PDF Version [PDF - 516 KB - 7 pages]
    P. Woodall et al.
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    An increasing proportion of Hansen disease cases in the United States occurs among migrants from the Micronesian region, where leprosy prevalence is high. We abstracted surveillance and clinical records of the National Hansen’s Disease Program to determine geographic, demographic, and clinical patterns. Since 2004, 13% of US cases have occurred in this migrant population. Although Hawaii reported the most cases, reports have increased in the central and southern states. Multibacillary disease in men predominates on the US mainland. Of 49 patients for whom clinical data were available, 37 (75%) had leprosy reaction, neuropathy, or other complications; 17 (37%) of 46 completed treatment. Comparison of data from the US mainland with Hawaii and country-of-origin suggests under-detection of cases in pediatric and female patients and with paucibacillary disease in the United States. Increased case finding and management, and avoidance of leprosy-labeled stigma, is needed for this population.

  • Epidemiology and Control of Legionellosis, Singapore PDF Version [PDF - 234 KB - 7 pages]
    M. C. Lam et al.
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    To determine trends and clinical and epidemiologic features of legionellosis in Singapore, we studied cases reported during 2000–2009. During this period, 238 indigenous and 33 imported cases of legionellosis were reported. Cases were reported individually and sporadically throughout each year. Although the annual incidence of indigenous cases had decreased from 0.46 cases per 100,000 population in 2003 to 0.16 cases per 100,000 in 2009, the proportion of imported cases increased correspondingly from 6.2% during 2000–2004 to 27.3% during 2005–2009 (p<0.0005). The prevalence of Legionella bacteria in cooling towers and water fountains was stable (range 12.1%–15.3%) during 2004–August 2008.

  • Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Genes of Escherichia coli in Chicken Meat and Humans, the Netherlands PDF Version [PDF - 525 KB - 7 pages]
    I. Overdevest et al.
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    We determined the prevalence and characteristics of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) genes of Enterobacteriaceae in retail chicken meat and humans in the Netherlands. Raw meat samples were obtained, and simultaneous cross-sectional surveys of fecal carriage were performed in 4 hospitals in the same area. Human blood cultures from these hospitals that contained ESBL genes were included. A high prevalence of ESBL genes was found in chicken meat (79.8%). Genetic analysis showed that the predominant ESBL genes in chicken meat and human rectal swab specimens were identical. These genes were also frequently found in human blood culture isolates. Typing results of Escherichia coli strains showed a high degree of similarity with strains from meat and humans. These findings suggest that the abundant presence of ESBL genes in the food chain may have a profound effect on future treatment options for a wide range of infections caused by gram-negative bacteria.

  • Asian Lineage of Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus, Africa PDF Version [PDF - 345 KB - 9 pages]
    O. Kwiatek et al.
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    Interest in peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) has been stimulated by recent changes in its host and geographic distribution. For this study, biological specimens were collected from camels, sheep, and goats clinically suspected of having PPRV infection in Sudan during 2000–2009 and from sheep soon after the first reported outbreaks in Morocco in 2008. Reverse transcription PCR analysis confirmed the wide distribution of PPRV throughout Sudan and spread of the virus in Morocco. Molecular typing of 32 samples positive for PPRV provided strong evidence of the introduction and broad spread of Asian lineage IV. This lineage was defined further by 2 subclusters; one consisted of camel and goat isolates and some of the sheep isolates, while the other contained only sheep isolates, a finding with suggests a genetic bias according to the host. This study provides evidence of the recent spread of PPRV lineage IV in Africa.

  • Co-infections of Plasmodium knowlesi, P. falciparum, and P. vivax among Humans and Anopheles dirus Mosquitoes, Southern Vietnam PDF Version [PDF - 369 KB - 8 pages]
    R. P. Marchand et al.
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    A single Anopheles dirus mosquito carrying sporozoites of Plasmodium knowlesi, P. falciparum, and P. vivax was recently discovered in Khanh Phu, southern Vietnam. Further sampling of humans and mosquitoes in this area during 2009–2010 showed P. knowlesi infections in 32 (26%) persons with malaria (n = 125) and in 31 (43%) sporozoite-positive An. dirus mosquitoes (n = 73). Co-infections of P. knowlesi and P. vivax were predominant in mosquitoes and humans, while single P. knowlesi infections were found only in mosquitoes. P. knowlesi–co-infected patients were largely asymptomatic and were concentrated among ethnic minority families who commonly spend nights in the forest. P. knowlesi carriers were significantly younger than those infected with other malaria parasite species. These results imply that even if human malaria could be eliminated, forests that harbor An. dirus mosquitoes and macaque monkeys will remain a reservoir for the zoonotic transmission of P. knowlesi.

  • Epidemiology of Influenza-like Illness during Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, New South Wales, Australia PDF Version [PDF - 298 KB - 8 pages]
    D. J. Muscatello et al.
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    To rapidly describe the epidemiology of influenza-like illness (ILI) during the 2009 winter epidemic of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus in New South Wales, Australia, we used results of a continuous population health survey. During July–September 2009, ILI was experienced by 23% of the population. Among these persons, 51% were unable to undertake normal duties for <3 days, 55% sought care at a general practice, and 5% went to a hospital. Factors independently associated with ILI were younger age, daily smoking, and obesity. Effectiveness of prepandemic seasonal vaccine was ≈20%. The high prevalence of risk factors associated with a substantially increased risk for ILI deserves greater recognition.

  • Severe Plasmodium knowlesi Malaria in a Tertiary Care Hospital, Sabah, Malaysia PDF Version [PDF - 288 KB - 8 pages]
    T. William et al.
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    The simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi causes severe human malaria; the optimal treatment remains unknown. We describe the clinical features, disease spectrum, and response to antimalarial chemotherapy, including artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate, in patients with P. knowlesi malaria diagnosed by PCR during December 2007–November 2009 at a tertiary care hospital in Sabah, Malaysia. Fifty-six patients had PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi monoinfection and clinical records available for review. Twenty-two (39%) had severe malaria; of these, 6 (27%) died. Thirteen (59%) had respiratory distress; 12 (55%), acute renal failure; and 12, shock. None experienced coma. Patients with uncomplicated disease received chloroquine, quinine, or artemether-lumefantrine, and those with severe disease received intravenous quinine or artesunate. Parasite clearance times were 1–2 days shorter with either artemether-lumefantrine or artesunate treatment. P. knowlesi is a major cause of severe and fatal malaria in Sabah. Artemisinin derivatives rapidly clear parasitemia and are efficacious in treating uncomplicated and severe knowlesi malaria.




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