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Volume 18, Number 2—February 2012

Volume 18, Number 2—February 2012   PDF Version [PDF - 4.81 MB - 175 pages]

Perspective

  • Pathogenic Responses among Young Adults during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic PDF Version [PDF - 153 KB - 7 pages]
    G. Shanks and J. F. Brundage
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    These responses after secondary exposures caused bacterial pneumonia and most deaths.

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    Of the unexplained characteristics of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic, the extreme mortality rate among young adults (W-shaped mortality curve) is the foremost. Lack of a coherent explanation of this and other epidemiologic and clinical manifestations of the pandemic contributes to uncertainty in preparing for future pandemics. Contemporaneous records suggest that immunopathologic responses were a critical determinant of the high mortality rate among young adults and other high-risk subgroups. Historical records and findings from laboratory animal studies suggest that persons who were exposed to influenza once before 1918 (e.g., A/H3Nx 1890 pandemic strain) were likely to have dysregulated, pathologic cellular immune responses to infections with the A/H1N1 1918 pandemic strain. The immunopathologic effects transiently increased susceptibility to ultimately lethal secondary bacterial pneumonia. The extreme mortality rate associated with the 1918–19 pandemic is unlikely to recur naturally. However, T-cell–mediated immunopathologic effects should be carefully monitored in developing and using universal influenza vaccines.

Research

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Invasive Pneumococcal Disease and Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Denver, Colorado, USA PDF Version [PDF - 367 KB - 9 pages]
    G. E. Nelson et al.
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    Pneumococcal prevention strategies should be emphasized during future influenza pandemics.

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    Pneumococcal pneumonia was a complication during previous influenza pandemics but was not evident initially during pandemic (H1N1) 2009. During October 2009 in Denver, Colorado, USA, invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and pandemic (H1N1) 2009 peaked simultaneously, which suggests a link. We compared cases of IPD in October 2009 with cases in February 2009, the most recent peak month of seasonal influenza. During October 2009, we observed 58 IPD cases, which was 3× the average number of IPD cases that usually occur in October in Denver. Patients with IPD in October 2009 were younger and more likely to have chronic lung disease than patients who had IPD in February 2009; a total of 10/47 patients had influenza, and 33/53 patients had influenza-like illness. Thus, ≈17%–62% cases of IPD may have been associated with pandemic (H1N1) 2009. Pneumococcal disease prevention strategies should be emphasized during future influenza pandemics.

  • Diphtheria in the Postepidemic Period, Europe, 2000–2009 PDF Version [PDF - 288 KB - 9 pages]
    K. S. Wagner et al.
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    Efforts must be made to maintain high vaccination coverage.

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    Diphtheria incidence has decreased in Europe since its resurgence in the 1990s, but circulation continues in some countries in eastern Europe, and sporadic cases have been reported elsewhere. Surveillance data from Diphtheria Surveillance Network countries and the World Health Organization European Region for 2000–2009 were analyzed. Latvia reported the highest annual incidence in Europe each year, but the Russian Federation and Ukraine accounted for 83% of all cases. Over the past 10 years, diphtheria incidence has decreased by >95% across the region. Although most deaths occurred in disease-endemic countries, case-fatality rates were highest in countries to which diphtheria is not endemic, where unfamiliarity can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment. In western Europe, toxigenic Corynebacterium ulcerans has increasingly been identified as the etiologic agent. Reduction in diphtheria incidence over the past 10 years is encouraging, but maintaining high vaccination coverage is essential to prevent indigenous C. ulcerans and reemergence of C. diphtheriae infections.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Declining Guillain-Barré Syndrome after Campylobacteriosis Control, New Zealand, 1988–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 322 KB - 8 pages]
    M. G. Baker et al.
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    Food safety measures that lower incidence of campylobacteriosis might also prevent Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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    Infection with Campylobacter spp. commonly precedes Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). We therefore hypothesized that GBS incidence may have followed a marked rise and then decline in campylobacteriosis rates in New Zealand. We reviewed records for 1988–2010: hospitalization records for GBS case-patients and campylobacteriosis case-patients plus notifications of campylobacteriosis. We identified 2,056 first hospitalizations for GBS, an average rate of 2.32 hospitalizations/100,000 population/year. Annual rates of hospitalization for GBS were significantly correlated with rates of notifications of campylobacteriosis. For patients hospitalized for campylobacteriosis, risk of being hospitalized for GBS during the next month was greatly increased. Three years after successful interventions to lower Campylobacter spp. contamination of fresh poultry meat, notifications of campylobacteriosis had declined by 52% and hospitalizations for GBS by 13%. Therefore, regulatory measures to prevent foodborne campylobacteriosis probably have an additional health and economic benefit of preventing GBS.

  • Pathogenesis of Avian Bornavirus in Experimentally Infected Cockatiels PDF Version [PDF - 270 KB - 8 pages]
    A. K. Piepenbring et al.
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    Inoculation induced persistent infection, clinical signs, and seroconversion.

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    Avian bornavirus (ABV) is the presumed causative agent of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a major fatal disease in psittacines. However, the influencing factors and pathogenesis of PDD are not known and natural ABV infection exhibits remarkable variability. We investigated the course of infection in 18 cockatiels that were intracerebrally and intravenously inoculated with ABV. A persistent ABV infection developed in all 18 cockatiels, but, as in natural infection, clinical disease patterns varied. Over 33 weeks, we simultaneously studied seroconversion, presence of viral RNA and antigens, infectious virus, histopathologic alterations, and clinical signs of infection in the ABV-infected birds. Our study results further confirm the etiologic role of ABV in the development of PDD, and they provide basis for further investigations of the pathogenetic mechanisms and disease-inducing factors for the development of PDD.

  • Effect of Surveillance Method on Reported Characteristics of Lyme Disease, Connecticut, 1996–2007 PDF Version [PDF - 304 KB - 6 pages]
    S. Ertel et al.
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    The epidemiology of Lyme disease varies by surveillance method.

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    To determine the effect of changing public health surveillance methods on the reported epidemiology of Lyme disease, we analyzed Connecticut data for 1996–2007. Data were stratified by 4 surveillance methods and compared. A total of 87,174 reports were received that included 79,896 potential cases. Variations based on surveillance methods were seen. Cases reported through physician-based surveillance were significantly more likely to be classified as confirmed; such case-patients were significantly more likely to have symptoms of erythema migrans only and to have illness onset during summer months. Case-patients reported through laboratory-based surveillance were significantly more likely to have late manifestations only and to be older. Use of multiple surveillance methods provided a more complete clinical and demographic description of cases but lacked efficiency. When interpreting data, changes in surveillance method must be considered.

  • Characterization of Nipah Virus from Outbreaks in Bangladesh, 2008–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 299 KB - 8 pages]
    M. K. Lo et al.
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    New genotyping scheme facilitates classification of virus sequences.

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    Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic paramyxovirus that causes fatal encephalitis in humans. The initial outbreak of NiV infection occurred in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998–1999; relatively small, sporadic outbreaks among humans have occurred in Bangladesh since 2001. We characterized the complete genomic sequences of identical NiV isolates from 2 patients in 2008 and partial genomic sequences of throat swab samples from 3 patients in 2010, all from Bangladesh. All sequences from patients in Bangladesh comprised a distinct genetic group. However, the detection of 3 genetically distinct sequences from patients in the districts of Faridpur and Gopalganj indicated multiple co-circulating lineages in a localized region over a short time (January–March 2010). Sequence comparisons between the open reading frames of all available NiV genes led us to propose a standardized protocol for genotyping NiV; this protcol provides a simple and accurate way to classify current and future NiV sequences.

  • Unsuspected Dengue and Acute Febrile Illness in Rural and Semi-Urban Southern Sri Lanka PDF Version [PDF - 194 KB - 8 pages]
    M. E. Reller et al.
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    Acute dengue may be under-recognized in other regions because of limited studies and tools for rapid diagnosis.

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    Dengue virus (DENV), a globally emerging cause of undifferentiated fever, has been documented in the heavily urbanized western coast of Sri Lanka since the 1960s. New areas of Sri Lanka are now being affected, and the reported number and severity of cases have increased. To study emerging DENV in southern Sri Lanka, we obtained epidemiologic and clinical data and acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples from patients >2 years old with febrile illness. We tested paired serum samples for DENV IgG and IgM and serotyped virus by using isolation and reverse transcription PCR. We identified acute DENV infection (serotypes 2, 3, and 4) in 54 (6.3%) of 859 patients. Only 14% of patients had clinically suspected dengue; however, 54% had serologically confirmed acute or past DENV infection. DENV is a major and largely unrecognized cause of fever in southern Sri Lanka, especially in young adults.

  • Association of Human Bocavirus 1 Infection with Respiratory Disease in Childhood Follow-up Study, Finland PDF Version [PDF - 316 KB - 8 pages]
    M. Meriluoto et al.
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    Since its discovery in 2005, human bocavirus type 1 has often been found in the upper airways of young children with respiratory disease. But is this virus the cause of the respiratory disease or just an innocent bystander? A unique study in Finland, which examined follow-up blood samples of 109 healthy children with no underlying illness starting at birth and until they were 13 years of age, found that acute bocavirus infection resulted in respiratory disease. All children had been infected by age 6. Most retained their antibodies to this virus; some lost them. Children who were later re-exposed to bocavirus did not get sick from this virus. Thus, human bocavirus type 1 is a major cause of respiratory disease in childhood.

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    Human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1) DNA is frequently detected in the upper airways of young children with respiratory symptoms. Because of its persistence and frequent co-detection with other viruses, however, its etiologic role has remained controversial. During 2009–2011, using HBoV1 IgM, IgG, and IgG-avidity enzyme immunoassays and quantitative PCR, we examined 1,952 serum samples collected consecutively at 3- to 6-month intervals from 109 constitutionally healthy children from infancy to early adolescence. Primary HBoV1 infection, as indicated by seroconversion, appeared in 102 (94%) of 109 children at a mean age of 2.3 years; the remaining 7 children were IgG antibody positive from birth. Subsequent secondary infections or IgG antibody increases were evident in 38 children and IgG reversions in 10. Comparison of the seroconversion interval with the next sampling interval for clinical events indicated that HBoV1 primary infection, but not secondary immune response, was significantly associated with acute otitis media and respiratory illness.

  • Lack of Decline in Childhood Malaria, Malawi, 2001–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 289 KB - 7 pages]
    A. Roca-Feltrer et al.
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    Despite increased control activities, malaria did not substantially decline.

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    In some areas of Africa, health facility data have indicated declines in malaria that might have resulted from increasingly effective control programs. Most such reports have been from countries where malaria transmission is highly seasonal or of modest intensity. In Malawi, perennial malaria transmission is intense, and malaria control measures have been scaled up during the past decade. We examined health facility data for children seen as outpatients and parasitemia-positive children hospitalized with cerebral malaria in a large national hospital. The proportion of Plasmodium falciparum–positive slides among febrile children at the hospital declined early in the decade, but no further reductions were observed after 2005. The number of admissions for cerebral malaria did not differ significantly by year. Continued surveillance for malaria is needed to evaluate the effects of the increased malaria control efforts.

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