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Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012

Volume 18, Number 3—March 2012   PDF Version [PDF - 5.64 MB - 187 pages]

International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID)

Synopses

  • Occurrence, Transmission, and Zoonotic Potential of Chronic Wasting Disease PDF Version [PDF - 350 KB - 8 pages]
    S. E. Saunders et al.
    View Summary

    This disease continues to emerge in cervids in the United States and Canada.

       View Abstract

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, transmissible prion disease that affects captive and free-ranging deer, elk, and moose. Although the zoonotic potential of CWD is considered low, identification of multiple CWD strains and the potential for agent evolution upon serial passage hinders a definitive conclusion. Surveillance for CWD in free-ranging populations has documented a continual geographic spread of the disease throughout North America. CWD prions are shed from clinically and preclinically affected hosts, and CWD transmission is mediated at least in part by the environment, perhaps by soil. Much remains unknown, including the sites and mechanisms of prion uptake in the naive host. There are no therapeutics or effective eradication measures for CWD-endemic populations. Continued surveillance and research of CWD and its effects on cervid ecosystems is vital for controlling the long-term consequences of this emerging disease.

Research

  • Foodborne and Waterborne Infections in Elderly Community and Long-Term Care Facility Residents, Victoria, Australia PDF Version [PDF - 333 KB - 8 pages]
    M. D. Kirk et al.
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    LTCF residents had lower or similar rates of these infections, except salmonellosis, than community residents.

       View Abstract

    We calculated rates of foodborne and waterborne infections reported to the health department in Victoria, Australia, during 2000–2009 for elderly residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and the community. We used negative binomial regression to estimate incidence rate ratios, adjusting for age, sex, and reporting period. We analyzed 8,277 infections in elderly persons. Rates of campylobacteriosis, legionellosis, listeriosis, toxigenic Escherichia coli infections, and shigellosis were higher in community residents, and rates of Salmonella infection were higher in LTCF residents. Each year, 61.7 Campylobacter infections were reported per 100,000 LTCF residents, compared with 97.6 per 100,000 community residents. LTCF residents were at higher risk for S. enterica serotype Typhimurium associated with outbreaks. Rates of foodborne infections (except salmonellosis) were similar to or lower for LTCF residents than for community residents. These findings may indicate that food preparation practices in LTCFs are safer than those used by elderly persons in the community.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006 PDF Version [PDF - 268 KB - 7 pages]
    A. J. Langer et al.
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    Most dairy-associated outbreaks occurred in states that permitted sale of these products.

       View Abstract

    Although pasteurization eliminates pathogens and consumption of nonpasteurized dairy products is uncommon, dairy-associated disease outbreaks continue to occur. To determine the association of outbreaks caused by nonpasteurized dairy products with state laws regarding sale of these products, we reviewed dairy-associated outbreaks during 1993–2006. We found 121 outbreaks for which the product’s pasteurization status was known; among these, 73 (60%) involved nonpasteurized products and resulted in 1,571 cases, 202 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths. A total of 55 (75%) outbreaks occurred in 21 states that permitted sale of nonpasteurized products; incidence of nonpasteurized product–associated outbreaks was higher in these states. Nonpasteurized products caused a disproportionate number (≈150× greater/unit of product consumed) of outbreaks and outbreak-associated illnesses and also disproportionately affected persons <20 years of age. States that restricted sale of nonpasteurized products had fewer outbreaks and illnesses; stronger restrictions and enforcement should be considered.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Community-associated Clostridium difficile Infections, Monroe County, New York, USA PDF Version [PDF - 314 KB - 9 pages]
    G. Dumyati et al.
    View Summary

    Judicious use of antimicrobial drugs will reduce infections.

       View Abstract

    We conducted active sentinel surveillance in Monroe County, New York, USA, to compare incidence of community-associated Clostridium difficile infections (CA-CDIs) with that of health care–associated infections (HA-CDIs) and identify exposure and strain type differences between CA and HA cases. Patients positive for C. difficile toxin and with no documented health care exposure in the previous 12 weeks were defined as possible CA case-patients. Patients with onset in a health care setting or recent health care exposure were defined as HA case-patients. Eighteen percent of CDIs were CA; 76% were in persons who reported antimicrobial drug use in the 12 weeks before CDI diagnosis. Strain type distribution was similar between CA and HA cases; North American pulsed-field 1 was the primary strain (31% CA, 42% HA; p = 0.34). CA-CDI is an emergent disease affecting patients recently exposed to antimicrobial drugs. Community strains are similar to those found in health care settings.

  • Ocozocoautla de Espinosa Virus and Hemorrhagic Fever, Mexico PDF Version [PDF - 225 KB - 5 pages]
    M. Cajimat et al.
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    This novel virus is related to arenaviruses that cause hemorrhagic fever.

       View Abstract

    Arenavirus RNA was isolated from Mexican deer mice (Peromyscus mexicanus) captured near the site of a 1967 epidemic of hemorrhagic fever in southern Mexico. Analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequence data indicated that the deer mice were infected with a novel Tacaribe serocomplex virus (proposed name Ocozocoautla de Espinosa virus), which is phylogenetically closely related to Tacaribe serocomplex viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever in humans in South America.

  • Causes of Pneumonia Epizootics among Bighorn Sheep, Western United States, 2008–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 296 KB - 9 pages]
    T. E. Besser et al.
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    Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae is a primary pathogen.

       View Abstract

    Epizootic pneumonia of bighorn sheep is a devastating disease of uncertain etiology. To help clarify the etiology, we used culture and culture-independent methods to compare the prevalence of the bacterial respiratory pathogens Mannheimia haemolytica, Bibersteinia trehalosi, Pasteurella multocida, and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in lung tissue from 44 bighorn sheep from herds affected by 8 outbreaks in the western United States. M. ovipneumoniae, the only agent detected at significantly higher prevalence in animals from outbreaks (95%) than in animals from unaffected healthy populations (0%), was the most consistently detected agent and the only agent that exhibited single strain types within each outbreak. The other respiratory pathogens were frequently but inconsistently detected, as were several obligate anaerobic bacterial species, all of which might represent secondary or opportunistic infections that could contribute to disease severity. These data provide evidence that M. ovipneumoniae plays a primary role in the etiology of epizootic pneumonia of bighorn sheep.

  • Chicken as Reservoir for Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Humans, Canada PDF Version [PDF - 166 KB - 7 pages]
    C. Bergeron et al.
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    Urinary tract infections can be difficult and expensive to treat. Most (85%) are caused by bacteria called E. coli. Historically, doctors have believed that these urinary tract E. coli came from the patient’s own intestines. But recently, Canadian researchers discovered that not only can these E. coli come from outside the patient’s intestines, they can actually come from outside the patient: from food. After comparing the genetic makeup of E. coli from human urinary tract infections with E. coli from retail meat (chicken, beef, and pork), they concluded that chickens are a likely source of E. coli and that the infections probably come directly from the chickens themselves, not from human contamination during food processing. Therefore, prevention of E. coli urinary tract infections in people might need to start on chicken farms.

       View Abstract

    We previously described how retail meat, particularly chicken, might be a reservoir for extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) causing urinary tract infections (UTIs) in humans. To rule out retail beef and pork as potential reservoirs, we tested 320 additional E. coli isolates from these meats. Isolates from beef and pork were significantly less likely than those from chicken to be genetically related to isolates from humans with UTIs. We then tested whether the reservoir for ExPEC in humans could be food animals themselves by comparing geographically and temporally matched E. coli isolates from 475 humans with UTIs and from cecal contents of 349 slaughtered animals. We found genetic similarities between E. coli from animals in abattoirs, principally chickens, and ExPEC causing UTIs in humans. ExPEC transmission from food animals could be responsible for human infections, and chickens are the most probable reservoir.

  • A Systematic Approach for Discovering Novel, Clinically Relevant Bacteria PDF Version [PDF - 310 KB - 9 pages]
    R. Schlaberg et al.
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    We identified 95 isolates from novel taxa that may have clinical relevance.

       View Abstract

    Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (16S) is a reference method for bacterial identification. Its expanded use has led to increased recognition of novel bacterial species. In most clinical laboratories, novel species are infrequently encountered, and their pathogenic potential is often difficult to assess. We reviewed partial 16S sequences from >26,000 clinical isolates, analyzed during February 2006–June 2010, and identified 673 that have <99% sequence identity with valid reference sequences and are thus possibly novel species. Of these 673 isolates, 111 may represent novel genera (<95% identity). Isolates from 95 novel taxa were recovered from multiple patients, indicating possible clinical relevance. Most repeatedly encountered novel taxa belonged to the genera Nocardia (14 novel taxa, 42 isolates) and Actinomyces (12 novel taxa, 52 isolates). This systematic approach for recognition of novel species with potential diagnostic or therapeutic relevance provides a basis for epidemiologic surveys and improvement of sequence databases and may lead to identification of new clinical entities.

  • Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Taenia solium Cysticerci among Refugees Resettled in United States PDF Version [PDF - 342 KB - 8 pages]
    S. E. O’Neal et al.
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    Cysticercosis is an infection caused by a pork tapeworm that creates cysts in different areas of the human body. Sometimes, these parasites can get into the infected patient’s brain and lead to epilepsy or other neurologic disorders. Cysticercosis is most common in developing countries that have poor sanitation and where pigs feed on human waste; however, cases in the United States are increasing. A recent study found that many refugees who settle in the United States, including those from Burma, Laos, Burundi, and Bhutan, have been infected with the tapeworm. The occurrence of cysticercosis among these groups has clinical and public health implications because US physicians might not be familiar with this disease and its symptoms. Cysticercosis should be suspected in refugees who have seizures, headache, or other unexplained neurologic symptoms. Physicians should also be aware that treatment for intestinal parasites, routinely given to refugees before they leave their homeland, can cause serious neurologic reactions in those already infected with the tapeworm.

       View Abstract

    Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a disease caused by central nervous system infection by the larval stage of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. In developing countries, NCC is a leading cause of adult-onset epilepsy. Case reports of NCC are increasing among refugees resettled to the United States and other nations, but the underlying prevalence among refugee groups is unknown. We tested stored serum samples from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Migrant Serum Bank for antibodies against T. solium cysts by using the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot. Seroprevalence was high among all 4 populations tested: refugees from Burma (23.2%), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (18.3%), Bhutan (22.8%), and Burundi (25.8%). Clinicians caring for refugee populations should suspect NCC in patients with seizure, chronic headache, or unexplained neurologic manifestations. Improved understanding of the prevalence of epilepsy and other associated diseases among refugees could guide recommendations for their evaluation and treatment before, during, and after resettlement.

  • Pathogenic Potential to Humans of Bovine Escherichia coli O26, Scotland PDF Version [PDF - 737 KB - 10 pages]
    M. E. Chase-Topping et al.
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    This pathogen may be the next Shiga toxin–producing E. coli of concern.

       View Abstract

    Escherichia coli O26 and O157 have similar overall prevalences in cattle in Scotland, but in humans, Shiga toxin–producing E. coli O26 infections are fewer and clinically less severe than E. coli O157 infections. To investigate this discrepancy, we genotyped E. coli O26 isolates from cattle and humans in Scotland and continental Europe. The genetic background of some strains from Scotland was closely related to that of strains causing severe infections in Europe. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling found an association between hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and multilocus sequence type 21 strains and confirmed the role of stx2 in severe human disease. Although the prevalences of E. coli O26 and O157 on cattle farms in Scotland are equivalent, prevalence of more virulent strains is low, reducing human infection risk. However, new data on E. coli O26–associated HUS in humans highlight the need for surveillance of non-O157 enterohemorrhagic E. coli and for understanding stx2 phage acquisition.

  • Lineage-specific Virulence Determinants of Haemophilus influenzae Biogroup aegyptius PDF Version [PDF - 317 KB - 9 pages]
    F. R. Strouts et al.
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    Novel adhesions, including trimeric autotransporters, might contribute to virulence.

       View Abstract

    An emergent clone of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius (Hae) is responsible for outbreaks of Brazilian purpuric fever (BPF). First recorded in Brazil in 1984, the so-called BPF clone of Hae caused a fulminant disease that started with conjunctivitis but developed into septicemic shock; mortality rates were as high as 70%. To identify virulence determinants, we conducted a pan-genomic analysis. Sequencing of the genomes of the BPF clone strain F3031 and a noninvasive conjunctivitis strain, F3047, and comparison of these sequences with 5 other complete H. influenzae genomes showed that >77% of the F3031 genome is shared among all H. influenzae strains. Delineation of the Hae accessory genome enabled characterization of 163 predicted protein-coding genes; identified differences in established autotransporter adhesins; and revealed a suite of novel adhesins unique to Hae, including novel trimeric autotransporter adhesins and 4 new fimbrial operons. These novel adhesins might play a critical role in host–pathogen interactions.

  • Using Genotyping and Geospatial Scanning to Estimate Recent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Transmission, United States PDF Version [PDF - 174 KB - 8 pages]
    P. K. Moonan et al.
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    These tools may enable direction of resources to populations with high transmission rates.

       View Abstract

    To determine the proportion of reported tuberculosis (TB) cases due to recent transmission in the United States, we conducted a cross-sectional study to examine culture-positive TB cases with complete genotype results (spoligotyping and 12-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit–variable-number tandem repeat typing) reported during January 2005–December 2009. Recently transmitted cases were defined as cases with matching results reported within statistically significant geospatial zones (identified by a spatial span statistic within a sliding 3-year window). Approximately 1 in 4 TB cases reported in the United States may be attributed to recent transmission. Groups at greatest risk for recent transmission appear to be men, persons born in the United States, members of a minority race or ethnic group, persons who abuse substances, and the homeless. Understanding transmission dynamics and establishing strategies for rapidly detecting recent transmission among these populations are essential for TB elimination in the United States.

Dispatches

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