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Volume 17, Number 8—August 2011

Volume 17, Number 8—August 2011   PDF Version [PDF - 7.63 MB - 239 pages]

Perspective

  • Control and Prevention of Viral Gastroenteritis PDF Version [PDF - 112 KB - 2 pages]
    S. S. Monroe
       View Abstract

    Diarrheal illness remains 1 of the top 5 causes of death in low-income and middle-income countries, especially for children <5 years of age. Introduction of universal childhood vaccination against rotaviruses has greatly reduced the incidence and severity of illness in upper-income and lower-income settings. For adults, norovirus is the leading cause of sporadic cases and outbreaks of diarrheal illness and is responsible for nearly 21 million episodes annually in the United States, of which 5.5 million are foodborne. Public health efforts to control and prevent norovirus illness have focused on rapid outbreak detection and source identification and control of transmission in institutional settings.

Synopses

  • Dengue Virus Infection in Africa PDF Version [PDF - 126 KB - 6 pages]
    A. Amarasinghe et al.
       View Abstract

    Reported incidence of dengue has increased worldwide in recent decades, but little is known about its incidence in Africa. During 1960–2010, a total of 22 countries in Africa reported sporadic cases or outbreaks of dengue; 12 other countries in Africa reported dengue only in travelers. The presence of disease and high prevalence of antibody to dengue virus in limited serologic surveys suggest endemic dengue virus infection in all or many parts of Africa. Dengue is likely underrecognized and underreported in Africa because of low awareness by health care providers, other prevalent febrile illnesses, and lack of diagnostic testing and systematic surveillance. Other hypotheses to explain low reported numbers of cases include cross-protection from other endemic flavivirus infections, genetic host factors protecting against infection or disease, and low vector competence and transmission efficiency. Population-based studies of febrile illness are needed to determine the epidemiology and true incidence of dengue in Africa.

Research

  • Seroprevalence of Trichodysplasia Spinulosa–associated Polyomavirus PDF Version [PDF - 788 KB - 9 pages]
    E. van der Meijden et al.
       View Abstract

    We identified a new polyomavirus in skin lesions from a patient with trichodysplasia spinulosa (TS). Apart from TS being an extremely rare disease, little is known of its epidemiology. On the basis of knowledge regarding other polyomaviruses, we anticipated that infections with trichodysplasia spinulosa–associated polyomavirus (TSV) occur frequently and become symptomatic only in immunocompromised patients. To investigate this hypothesis, we developed and used a Luminex-based TSV viral protein 1 immunoassay, excluded cross-reactivity with phylogenetically related Merkel cell polyomavirus, and measured TSV seroreactivity. Highest reactivity was found in a TS patient. In 528 healthy persons in the Netherlands, a wide range of seroreactivities was measured and resulted in an overall TSV seroprevalence of 70% (range 10% in small children to 80% in adults). In 80 renal transplant patients, seroprevalence was 89%. Infection with the new TSV polyomavirus is common and occurs primarily at a young age.

  • Human Polyomavirus Related to African Green Monkey Lymphotropic Polyomavirus PDF Version [PDF - 531 KB - 7 pages]
    V. Sauvage et al.
       View Abstract

    While studying the virome of the skin surface of a patient with a Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) by using unbiased, high-throughput sequencing, we identified a human polyomavirus nearly identical to human polyomavirus 9, a virus recently reported in blood and urine of renal transplantion patients and closely related to the African green monkey lymphotropic polyomavirus. Specific PCR analysis further identified this virus in 2/8 patients with MCC but in only 1/111 controls without MCC. This virus was shed for >20 months by the MCC index patient and was on the skin of the spouse of the index patient. These results provide information on the viral ecology of human skin and raise new questions regarding the pathology of virus-associated skin disorders.

  • Asymptomatic Primary Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Infection among Adults PDF Version [PDF - 535 KB - 10 pages]
    Y. L. Tolstov et al.
       View Abstract

    Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) is a recently discovered virus that causes 80% of Merkel cell carcinomas. We examined data for 564 gay/bisexual male participants >18 years of age in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and found that 447 (79.3%) were MCV-antibody positive at initial enrollment. Of the 117 MCV-seronegative men, 31 subsequently seroconverted over a 4-year follow-up period, corresponding to a 6.6% annual conversion rate. MCV immunoglobulin G levels remained detectable up to 25 years after exposure. No signs, symptoms, or routine diagnostic test results were associated with MCV infection, and no correlation between HIV infection or AIDS progression and MCV infection was noted. An initial correlation between chronic hepatitis B virus infection and MCV prevalence could not be confirmed among MCV seroconverters or in studies of a second hepatitis B virus–hyperendemic cohort from Qidong, China. In adults, MCV is typically an asymptomatic, common, and commensal viral infection that initiates rare cancers after virus (rather than host cell) mutations.

  • Incidence of Acute Gastroenteritis and Role of Norovirus, Georgia, USA, 2004–2005 PDF Version [PDF - 299 KB - 8 pages]
    A. J. Hall et al.
       View Abstract

    Approximately 179 million cases of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) occur annually in the United States. However, lack of routine clinical testing for viruses limits understanding of their role among persons seeking medical care. Fecal specimens submitted for routine bacterial culture through a health maintenance organization in Georgia, USA, were tested with molecular diagnostic assays for norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, sapovirus, and adenovirus. Incidence was estimated by using national health care utilization rates. Routine clinical diagnostics identified a pathogen in 42 (7.3%) of 572 specimens; inclusion of molecular viral testing increased pathogen detection to 15.7%. Community AGE incidence was 41,000 cases/100,000 person-years and outpatient incidence was 5,400/100,000 person-years. Norovirus was the most common pathogen, accounting for 6,500 (16%) and 640 (12%) per 100,000 person-years of community and outpatient AGE episodes, respectively. This study demonstrates that noroviruses are leading causes of AGE among persons seeking medical care.

  • Novel Surveillance Network for Norovirus Gastroenteritis Outbreaks, United States PDF Version [PDF - 391 KB - 7 pages]
    E. Vega et al.
       View Abstract

    CaliciNet, the outbreak surveillance network for noroviruses in the United States, was launched in March 2009. As of January 2011, twenty state and local health laboratories had been certified to submit norovirus sequences and epidemiologic outbreak data to CaliciNet. During the network’s first year, 552 outbreaks were submitted to CaliciNet, of which 78 (14%) were associated with foodborne transmission. A total of 395 (72%) outbreaks were typed as GII.4, of which 298 (75%) belonged to a new variant, GII.4 New Orleans, which first emerged in October 2009. Analysis of the complete capsid and P2 region sequences confirmed that GII.4 New Orleans is distinct from previous GII.4 variants, including GII.4 Minerva (2006b).

  • Spread of Measles Virus D4-Hamburg, Europe, 2008–2011 PDF Version [PDF - 256 KB - 6 pages]
    A. Mankertz et al.
    View Summary

    More than 24,300 cases were identified in 22 countries.

       View Abstract

    A new strain of measles virus, D4-Hamburg, was imported from London to Hamburg in December 2008 and subsequently spread to Bulgaria, where an outbreak of >24,300 cases was observed. We analyzed spread of the virus to demonstrate the importance of addressing hard-to-reach communities within the World Health Organization European Region regarding access to medical care and vaccination campaigns. The D4-Hamburg strain appeared during 2009–2011 in Poland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, and Belgium and was repeatedly reimported to Germany. The strain was present in Europe for >27 months and led to >25,000 cases in 12 countries. Spread of the virus was prevalently but not exclusively associated with travel by persons in the Roma ethnic group; because this travel extends beyond the borders of any European country, measures to prevent the spread of measles should be implemented by the region as a whole.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Deaths Associated with Human Adenovirus-14p1 Infections, Europe, 2009–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 387 KB - 6 pages]
    M. J. Carr et al.
    View Summary

    Clinicians should consider this virus in the differential diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia.

       View Abstract

    Human adenovirus (HAdV) serotype 14 is rarely identified. However, an emerging variant, termed HAdV-14p1, recently has been described in the United States in association with outbreaks of acute respiratory disease with high rates of illness and death. We retrospectively analyzed specimens confirmed positive for HAdV by immunofluorescence, virus culture, or real-time PCR during July 1, 2009–July 31, 2010, and describe 9 cases of HAdV-14p1 infection with characteristic mutations in the fiber and E1A genes that are phylogenetically indistinguishable from the viruses previously detected in the United States. Three patients died; 2 were immunocompromised, and 1 was an immunocompetent adult. We propose that surveillance should be increased for HAdV-14p1 and recommend that this virus be considered in the differential diagnosis of sudden-onset acute respiratory disease, particularly fatal infections, for which an etiology is not clear.

  • Case–Control Study of Risk Factors for Hospitalization Caused by Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 PDF Version [PDF - 214 KB - 8 pages]
    K. A. Ward et al.
       View Abstract

    We conducted a case–control study to identify risk factors for hospitalization from pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection among persons >16 years of age in Sydney, Australia. The study comprised 302 case-patients and 603 controls. In a logistic regression model, after adjusting for age and sex, risk factors for hospitalization were pregnancy (odds ratio [OR] 22.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 9.2–54.5), immune suppression (OR 5.5, 95% CI 2.8–10.9), pre-existing lung disease (OR 6.6, 95% CI 3.8–11.6), asthma requiring regular preventive medication (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.7–6.8), heart disease (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2–4.1), diabetes (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.2–6.5), and current smoker (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3–3.2) or previously smoked (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3–3.0). Although obesity was not independently associated with hospitalization, it was associated with an increased risk of requiring mechanical ventilation. Public health messages should give greater emphasis on the risk for severe disease among pregnant women and smokers.

  • Novel Arenavirus Infection in Humans, United States PDF Version [PDF - 221 KB - 4 pages]
    M. L. Milazzo et al.
       View Abstract

    Immunoglobulin G against Whitewater Arroyo virus or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus was found in 41 (3.5%) of 1,185 persons in the United States who had acute central nervous system disease or undifferentiated febrile illnesses. The results of analyses of antibody titers in paired serum samples suggest that a North American Tacaribe serocomplex virus was the causative agent of the illnesses in 2 persons and that lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus was the causative agent of the illnesses in 3 other antibody-positive persons in this study. The results of this study suggest that Tacaribe serocomplex viruses native to North America, as well as lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, are causative agents of human disease in the United States.

  • Cost-effectiveness of Sick Leave Policies for Health Care Workers with Influenza-like Illness, Brazil, 2009 PDF Version [PDF - 370 KB - 9 pages]
    N. V. Mota et al.
       View Abstract

    We describe the effect of influenza-like illness (ILI) during the outbreak of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 on health care worker (HCW) absenteeism and compare the effectiveness and cost of 2 sick leave policies for HCWs with suspected influenza. We assessed initial 2-day sick leaves plus reassessment until the HCW was asymptomatic (2-day + reassessment policy), and initial 7-day sick leaves (7-day policy). Sick leaves peaked in August 2009: 3% of the workforce received leave for ILI. Costs during May–October reached R$798,051.87 (≈US $443,362). The 7-day policy led to a higher monthly rate of sick leave days per 100 HCWs than did the 2-day + reassessment policy (8.72 vs. 3.47 days/100 HCWs; p<0.0001) and resulted in higher costs (US $609 vs. US $1,128 per HCW on leave). ILI affected HCW absenteeism. The 7-day policy was more costly and not more effective in preventing transmission to patients than the 2-day + reassessment policy.

  • Enterovirus 68 among Children with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection, the Philippines PDF Version [PDF - 354 KB - 6 pages]
    T. Imamura et al.
       View Abstract

    Enterovirus 68 (EV68) is a rare enterovirus associated with respiratory illness that, unlike other enteroviruses, has been identified only from respiratory specimens. We identified EV68 from respiratory specimens of children hospitalized with a diagnosis of severe pneumonia in Leyte, Republic of the Philippines. Twenty-one samples showed high similarity with EV68 by sequencing of 5′ nontranslated region; 17 of these samples were confirmed as EV68 by sequencing of viral protein 1 capsid coding region. Most previously reported EV68 cases had been identified as sporadic cases. All 21 patients we identified had severe illness, and 2 died, possibly the first reported fatal cases associated with EV68 infection. Our study suggests that EV68 may be a possible causative agent of severe respiratory illnesses.

  • Novel Human Reovirus Isolated from Children with Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy PDF Version [PDF - 413 KB - 9 pages]
    L. A. Ouattara et al.
       View Abstract

    For many encephalitis cases, the cause remains unidentified. After 2 children (from the same family) received a diagnosis of acute necrotizing encephalopathy at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (Tours, France), we attempted to identify the etiologic agent. Because clinical samples from the 2 patients were negative for all pathogens tested, urine and throat swab specimens were added to epithelial cells, and virus isolates detected were characterized by molecular analysis and electron microscopy. We identified a novel reovirus strain (serotype 2), MRV2Tou05, which seems to be closely related to porcine and human strains. A specific antibody response directed against this new reovirus strain was observed in convalescent-phase serum specimens from the patients, whereas no response was observed in 38 serum specimens from 38 healthy adults. This novel reovirus is a new etiologic agent of encephalitis.

  • Early Warning System for West Nile Virus Risk Areas, California, USA PDF Version [PDF - 442 KB - 10 pages]
    R. M. Carney et al.
       View Abstract

    The Dynamic Continuous-Area Space-Time (DYCAST) system is a biologically based spatiotemporal model that uses public reports of dead birds to identify areas at high risk for West Nile virus (WNV) transmission to humans. In 2005, during a statewide epidemic of WNV (880 cases), the California Department of Public Health prospectively implemented DYCAST over 32,517 km2 in California. Daily risk maps were made available online and used by local agencies to target public education campaigns, surveillance, and mosquito control. DYCAST had 80.8% sensitivity and 90.6% specificity for predicting human cases, and κ analysis indicated moderate strength of chance-adjusted agreement for >4 weeks. High-risk grid cells (populations) were identified an average of 37.2 days before onset of human illness; relative risk for disease was >39× higher than for low-risk cells. Although prediction rates declined in subsequent years, results indicate DYCAST was a timely and effective early warning system during the severe 2005 epidemic.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Risk Factors for Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Seroconversion among Adults, Singapore, 2009 PDF Version [PDF - 356 KB - 8 pages]
    W. Lim et al.
       View Abstract

    A total of 828 community-dwelling adults were studied during the course of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in Singapore during June–September 2009. Baseline blood samples were obtained before the outbreak, and 2 additional samples were obtained during follow-up. Seroconversion was defined as a >4-fold increase in antibody titers to pandemic (H1N1) 2009, determined by using hemagglutination inhibition. Men were more likely than women to seroconvert (mean adjusted hazards ratio [HR] 2.23, mean 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26–3.93); Malays were more likely than Chinese to seroconvert (HR 2.67, 95% CI 1.04–6.91). Travel outside Singapore during the study period was associated with seroconversion (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.11–2.78) as was use of public transport (HR 1.81, 95% CI 1.05–3.09). High baseline antibody titers were associated with reduced seroconversion. This study suggests possible areas for intervention to reduce transmission during future influenza outbreaks.

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