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Volume 19, Number 11—November 2013

Volume 19, Number 11—November 2013   PDF Version [PDF - 11.11 MB - 199 pages]


  • Medscape CME Activity
    Tropheryma whipplei Endocarditis PDF Version [PDF - 654 KB - 10 pages]
    F. Fenollar et al.
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    This emerging clinical entity occurs mostly in middle-aged and older men with arthralgias.

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    Tropheryma whipplei endocarditis differs from classic Whipple disease, which primarily affects the gastrointestinal system. We diagnosed 28 cases of T. whipplei endocarditis in Marseille, France, and compared them with cases reported in the literature. Specimens were analyzed mostly by molecular and histologic techniques. Duke criteria were ineffective for diagnosis before heart valve analysis. The disease occurred in men 40–80 years of age, of whom 21 (75%) had arthralgia (75%); 9 (32%) had valvular disease and 11 (39%) had fever. Clinical manifestations were predominantly cardiologic. Treatment with doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine for at least 12 months was successful. The cases we diagnosed differed from those reported from Germany, in which arthralgias were less common and previous valve lesions more common. A strong geographic specificity for this disease is found mainly in eastern-central France, Switzerland, and Germany. T. whipplei endocarditis is an emerging clinical entity observed in middle-aged and older men with arthralgia.


  • Atypical Scrapie Prions from Sheep and Lack of Disease in Transgenic Mice Overexpressing Human Prion Protein PDF Version [PDF - 727 KB - 9 pages]
    J. Wadsworth et al.
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    Public and animal health controls to limit human exposure to animal prions are focused on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but other prion strains in ruminants may also have zoonotic potential. One example is atypical/Nor98 scrapie, which evaded statutory diagnostic methods worldwide until the early 2000s. To investigate whether sheep infected with scrapie prions could be another source of infection, we inoculated transgenic mice that overexpressed human prion protein with brain tissue from sheep with natural field cases of classical and atypical scrapie, sheep with experimental BSE, and cattle with BSE. We found that these mice were susceptible to BSE prions, but disease did not develop after prolonged postinoculation periods when mice were inoculated with classical or atypical scrapie prions. These data are consistent with the conclusion that prion disease is less likely to develop in humans after exposure to naturally occurring prions of sheep than after exposure to epizootic BSE prions of ruminants.

  • Capture–Recapture Method for Estimating Annual Incidence of Imported Dengue, France, 2007–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 2.13 MB - 9 pages]
    G. La Ruche et al.
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    A revised method of quantifying data shows increase in imported dengue fever cases.

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    Imported dengue cases pose the public health risk for local circulation in European areas, especially southeast France, where the Aedes mosquito is established. Using a capture–recapture method with Chao’s estimator, we estimated the annual incidence of dengue fever and the completeness of existing mandatory notification and laboratory network surveillance systems. During 2007–2010, >8,300 cases with laboratory evidence of recent dengue infection were diagnosed. Of these cases, 4,500 occurred in 2010, coinciding with intense epidemics in the French West Indies. Over this 4-year period, 327 cases occurred in southeast France during the vector activity period. Of these, 234 cases occurred in 2010, most of them potentially viremic. Completeness of the mandatory notification and laboratory network systems were ≈10% and 40%, respectively, but higher in southeast areas during May–November (32% and 69%, respectively). Dengue surveillance systems in France provide complementary information that is essential to the implementation of control measures.

  • Pseudorabies Virus Variant in Bartha-K61–Vaccinated Pigs, China, 2012 PDF Version [PDF - 660 KB - 7 pages]
    T. An et al.
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    A virulent variant can evade the protection induced by this vaccine.

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    The widely used pseudorabies virus (PRV) Bartha-K61 vaccine has played a key role in the eradication of PRV. Since late 2011, however, a disease characterized by neurologic symptoms and a high number of deaths among newborn piglets has occurred among Bartha-K61–vaccinated pigs on many farms in China. Clinical samples from pigs on 15 farms in 6 provinces were examined. The PRV gE gene was detectable by PCR in all samples, and sequence analysis of the gE gene showed that all isolates belonged to a relatively independent cluster and contained 2 amino acid insertions. A PRV (named HeN1) was isolated and caused transitional fever in pigs. In protection assays, Bartha-K61 vaccine provided 100% protection against lethal challenge with SC (a classical PRV) but only 50% protection against 4 challenges with strain HeN1. The findings suggest that Bartha-K61 vaccine does not provide effective protection against PRV HeN1 infection.

  • Migration and Persistence of Human Influenza A Viruses, Vietnam, 2001–2008 PDF Version [PDF - 712 KB - 10 pages]
    M. Le et al.
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    The virus persists for >1 year and migrates to and from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

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    Understanding global influenza migration and persistence is crucial for vaccine strain selection. Using 240 new human influenza A virus whole genomes collected in Vietnam during 2001–2008, we looked for persistence patterns and migratory connections between Vietnam and other countries. We found that viruses in Vietnam migrate to and from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. We attempted to reduce geographic bias by generating phylogenies subsampled at the year and country levels. However, migration events in these phylogenies were still driven by the presence or absence of sequence data, indicating that an epidemiologic study design that controls for prevalence is required for robust migration analysis. With whole-genome data, most migration events are not detectable from the phylogeny of the hemagglutinin segment alone, although general migratory relationships between Vietnam and other countries are visible in the hemagglutinin phylogeny. It is possible that virus lineages in Vietnam persisted for >1 year.

  • Severe Influenza-associated Respiratory Infection in High HIV Prevalence Setting, South Africa, 2009–2011 PDF Version [PDF - 678 KB - 9 pages]
    C. Cohen et al.
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    HIV-infected persons should be prioritized to receive influenza vaccination.

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    Data on influenza epidemiology in HIV-infected persons are limited, particularly for sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV infection is widespread. We tested respiratory and blood samples from patients with acute lower respiratory tract infections hospitalized in South Africa during 2009–2011 for viral and pneumococcal infections. Influenza was identified in 9% (1,056/11,925) of patients enrolled; among influenza case-patients, 358 (44%) of the 819 who were tested were infected with HIV. Influenza-associated acute lower respiratory tract infection incidence was 4–8 times greater for HIV-infected (186–228/100,000) than for HIV-uninfected persons (26–54/100,000). Furthermore, multivariable analysis showed HIV-infected patients were more likely to have pneumococcal co-infection; to be infected with influenza type B compared with type A; to be hospitalized for 2–7 days or >7 days; and to die from their illness. These findings indicate that HIV-infected persons are at greater risk for severe illnesses related to influenza and thus should be prioritized for influenza vaccination.

  • Common Epidemiology of Rickettsia felis Infection and Malaria, Africa PDF Version [PDF - 549 KB - 9 pages]
    O. Mediannikov et al.
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    This multifaceted review posits an increased risk for Rickettsia felis infection in malaria-endemic regions of Africa

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    This study aimed to compare the epidemiology of Rickettsia felis infection and malaria in France, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa and to identify a common vector. Blood specimens from 3,122 febrile patients and from 500 nonfebrile persons were analyzed for R. felis and Plasmodium spp. We observed a significant linear trend (p<0.0001) of increasing risk for R. felis infection. The risks were lowest in France, Tunisia, and Algeria (1%), and highest in rural Senegal (15%). Co-infections with R. felis and Plasmodium spp. and occurrences of R. felis relapses or reinfections were identified. This study demonstrates a correlation between malaria and R. felis infection regarding geographic distribution, seasonality, asymptomatic infections, and a potential vector. R. felis infection should be suspected in these geographical areas where malaria is endemic. Doxycycline chemoprophylaxis against malaria in travelers to sub-Saharan Africa also protects against rickettsioses; thus, empirical treatment strategies for febrile illness for travelers and residents in sub-Saharan Africa may require reevaluation.

  • Use of National Pneumonia Surveillance to Describe Influenza A(H7N9) Virus Epidemiology, China, 2004–2013 PDF Version [PDF - 567 KB - 7 pages]
    N. Xiang et al.
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    Closures of live poultry markets were effective in controlling virus spread.

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    In mainland China, most avian influenza A(H7N9) cases in the spring of 2013 were reported through the pneumonia of unknown etiology (PUE) surveillance system. To understand the role of possible underreporting and surveillance bias in assessing the epidemiology of subtype H7N9 cases and the effect of live-poultry market closures, we examined all PUE cases reported from 2004 through May 3, 2013. Historically, the PUE system was underused, reporting was inconsistent, and PUE reporting was biased toward A(H7N9)-affected provinces, with sparse data from unaffected provinces; however, we found no evidence that the older ages of persons with A(H7N9) resulted from surveillance bias. The absolute number and the proportion of PUE cases confirmed to be A(H7N9) declined after live-poultry market closures (p<0.001), indicating that market closures might have positively affected outbreak control. In China, PUE surveillance needs to be improved.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Possible Association between Obesity and Clostridium difficile Infection PDF Version [PDF - 447 KB - 6 pages]
    J. Leung et al.
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    Obesity was found at higher frequency among patients with C. difficile infections who had few other traditional risk factors.

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    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a risk factor for Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs). Because of similar disruptions to the intestinal microbiome found in IBD and in obesity, we conducted a retrospective study to clarify the role of obesity in CDI. We reviewed records of patients with laboratory-confirmed CDIs in a tertiary care medical center over a 6-month period. Of 132 patients, 43% had community onset, 30% had health care facility onset, and 23% had community onset infections after exposure to a health care facility. Patients with community onset infections had higher body mass indices than the general population and those with community onset after exposure to a health care facility, had higher rates of IBD, and lower prior antibacterial drug exposure than patients who had CDI onset in a health care facility. Obesity may be associated with CDI, independent of antibacterial drug or health care exposures.

  • Transmissibility of Livestock-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus PDF Version [PDF - 436 KB - 6 pages]
    D. J. Hetem et al.
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    Transmissibility MRSA associated with livestock is 4.4 times lower than that not associated with livestock.

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    Previous findings have suggested that the nosocomial transmission capacity of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) is lower than that of other MRSA genotypes. We therefore performed a 6-month (June 1–November 30, 2011) nationwide study to quantify the single-admission reproduction number, RA, for LA-MRSA in 62 hospitals in the Netherlands and to compare this transmission capacity to previous estimates. We used spa typing for genotyping. Quantification of RA was based on a mathematical model incorporating outbreak sizes, detection rates, and length of hospital stay. There were 141 index cases, 40 (28%) of which were LA-MRSA. Contact screening of 2,101 patients and 7,260 health care workers identified 18 outbreaks (2 LA-MRSA) and 47 secondary cases (3 LA-MRSA). RA values indicated that transmissibility of LA-MRSA is 4.4 times lower than that of other MRSA (not associated with livestock).

  • CTX-M β-Lactamase–producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in Suburban New York City, New York, USA PDF Version [PDF - 531 KB - 8 pages]
    G. Wang et al.
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    CTX-M extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates are infrequently reported in the United States. In this study, we analyzed nonduplicate ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and Escherichia coli clinical isolates collected during 2005–2012 at a tertiary care medical center in suburban New York City, USA, for the presence of blaCTX-M, blaSHV, blaTEM, and blaKPC genes. Despite a high prevalence of blaCTX-M genes in ESBL-producing E. coli since 2005, blaCTX-M genes were not detected in K. pneumoniae until 2009. The prevalence of CTX-M–producing K. pneumoniae increased significantly over time from 1.7% during 2005–2009 to 26.4% during 2010–2012 (p<0.0001). CTX-M-15 was the dominant CTX-M genotype. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing revealed high genetic heterogeneities in CTX-M–producing K. pneumoniae isolates. This study demonstrates the recent emergence and polyclonal spread of multidrug resistant CTX-M–producing K. pneumoniae isolates among patients in a hospital setting in the United States.

  • Mobile Phone–based Syndromic Surveillance System, Papua New Guinea PDF Version [PDF - 763 KB - 8 pages]
    A. Rosewell et al.
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    In fragile states, mobile phone technology has the capacity to improve the timeliness and efficiency of public health surveillance.

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    The health care system in Papua New Guinea is fragile, and surveillance systems infrequently meet international standards. To strengthen outbreak identification, health authorities piloted a mobile phone–based syndromic surveillance system and used established frameworks to evaluate whether the system was meeting objectives. Stakeholder experience was investigated by using standardized questionnaires and focus groups. Nine sites reported data that included 7 outbreaks and 92 cases of acute watery diarrhea. The new system was more timely (2.4 vs. 84 days), complete (70% vs. 40%), and sensitive (95% vs. 26%) than existing systems. The system was simple, stable, useful, and acceptable; however, feedback and subnational involvement were weak. A simple syndromic surveillance system implemented in a fragile state enabled more timely, complete, and sensitive data reporting for disease risk assessment. Feedback and provincial involvement require improvement. Use of mobile phone technology might improve the timeliness and efficiency of public health surveillance.



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