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Volume 19, Number 4—April 2013

Volume 19, Number 4—April 2013   PDF Version [PDF - 4.91 MB - 178 pages]


  • Discrepancies in Data Reporting for Rabies, Africa PDF Version [PDF - 364 KB - 5 pages]
    L. H. Nel
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    Synchronized, shared, or unified data reporting is necessary and feasible.

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    Human rabies is an ancient disease but in modern times has primarily been associated with dog rabies–endemic countries of Asia and Africa. From an African perspective, the inevitable and tragic consequences of rabies require serious reflection of the factors that continue to drive its neglect. Established as a major disease only after multiple introductions during the colonial era, rabies continues to spread into new reservoirs and territories in Africa. However, analysis of reported data identified major discrepancies that are indicators of poor surveillance, reporting, and cooperation among national, international, and global authorities. Ultimately, the absence of reliable and sustained data compromises the priority given to the control of rabies. Appropriate actions and changes, in accordance to the One Health philosophy and including aspects such as synchronized, shared, and unified global rabies data reporting, will not only be necessary, but also should be feasible.


  • Circovirus in Tissues of Dogs with Vasculitis and Hemorrhage PDF Version [PDF - 469 KB - 8 pages]
    L. Li et al.
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    Results indicate a likely association between circovirus infection in dogs and canine vascular disease.

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    We characterized the complete genome of a novel dog circovirus (DogCV) from the liver of a dog with severe hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, vasculitis, and granulomatous lymphadenitis. DogCV was detected by PCR in fecal samples from 19/168 (11.3%) dogs with diarrhea and 14/204 (6.9%) healthy dogs and in blood from 19/409 (3.3%) of dogs with thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, fever of unknown origin, or past tick bite. Co-infection with other canine pathogens was detected for 13/19 (68%) DogCV-positive dogs with diarrhea. DogCV capsid proteins from different dogs varied by up to 8%. In situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy detected DogCV in the lymph nodes and spleens of 4 dogs with vascular compromise and histiocytic inflammation. The detection of a circovirus in tissues of dogs expands the known tropism of these viruses to a second mammalian host. Our results indicate that circovirus, alone or in co-infection with other pathogens, might contribute to illness and death in dogs.

  • Cost-effectiveness of Novel System of Mosquito Surveillance and Control, Brazil PDF Version [PDF - 498 KB - 9 pages]
    K. M. Pepin et al.
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    Results are relevant to public health budgets and societal concerns.

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    Of all countries in the Western Hemisphere, Brazil has the highest economic losses caused by dengue fever. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of a novel system of vector surveillance and control, Monitoramento Inteligente da Dengue (Intelligent Dengue Monitoring System [MID]), which was implemented in 21 cities in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Traps for adult female mosquitoes were spaced at 300-m intervals throughout each city. In cities that used MID, vector control was conducted specifically at high-risk sites (indicated through daily updates by MID). In control cities, vector control proceeded according to guidelines of the Brazilian government. We estimated that MID prevented 27,191 cases of dengue fever and saved an average of $227 (median $58) per case prevented, which saved approximately $364,517 in direct costs (health care and vector control) and $7,138,940 in lost wages (societal effect) annually. MID was more effective in cities with stronger economies and more cost-effective in cities with higher levels of mosquito infestation.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Serotype IV and Invasive Group B Streptococcus Disease in Neonates, Minnesota, USA, 2000–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 533 KB - 8 pages]
    P. Ferrieri et al.
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    Serotype predominance has shifted, and drug resistance is emerging.

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    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major cause of invasive disease in neonates in the United States. Surveillance of invasive GBS disease in Minnesota, USA, during 2000–2010 yielded 449 isolates from 449 infants; 257 had early-onset (EO) disease (by age 6 days) and 192 late-onset (LO) disease (180 at age 7–89 days, 12 at age 90–180 days). Isolates were characterized by capsular polysaccharide serotype and surface-protein profile; types III and Ia predominated. However, because previously uncommon serotype IV constitutes 5/31 EO isolates in 2010, twelve type IV isolates collected during 2000–2010 were studied further. By pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, they were classified into 3 profiles; by multilocus sequence typing, representative isolates included new sequence type 468. Resistance to clindamycin or erythromycin was detected in 4/5 serotype IV isolates. Emergence of serotype IV GBS in Minnesota highlights the need for serotype prevalence monitoring to detect trends that could affect prevention strategies.

  • Transmission of Hepatitis E Virus from Rabbits to Cynomolgus Macaques PDF Version [PDF - 405 KB - 7 pages]
    P. Liu et al.
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    Cross-species transmission indicates that this virus may also infect humans.

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    The recent discovery of hepatitis E virus (HEV) strains in rabbits in the People’s Republic of China and the United States revealed that rabbits are another noteworthy reservoir of HEV. However, whether HEV from rabbits can infect humans is unclear. To study the zoonotic potential for and pathogenesis of rabbit HEV, we infected 2 cynomolgus macaques and 2 rabbits with an HEV strain from rabbits in China. Typical hepatitis developed in both monkeys; they exhibited elevated liver enzymes, viremia, virus shedding in fecal specimens, and seroconversion. Comparison of the complete genome sequence of HEV passed in the macaques with that of the inoculum showed 99.8% nucleotide identity. Rabbit HEV RNA (positive- and negative-stranded) was detectable in various tissues from the experimentally infected rabbits, indicating that extrahepatic replication may be common. Thus, HEV is transmissible from rabbits to cynomolgus macaques, which suggests that rabbits may be a new source of human HEV infection.

  • Detection of Spliced mRNA from Human Bocavirus 1 in Clinical Samples from Children with Respiratory Tract Infections PDF Version [PDF - 405 KB - 7 pages]
    A. Christensen et al.
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    Human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1) is a parvovirus associated with respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in children, but a causal relation has not yet been confirmed. To develop a qualitative reverse transcription PCR to detect spliced mRNA from HBoV1 and to determine whether HBoV1 mRNA correlated better with RTIs than did HBoV1 DNA, we used samples from HBoV1 DNA–positive children, with and without RTIs, to evaluate the test. A real-time reverse transcription PCR, targeting 2 alternatively spliced mRNAs, was developed. HBoV1 mRNA was detected in nasopharyngeal aspirates from 33 (25%) of 133 children with RTIs but in none of 28 controls (p<0.001). The analytical sensitivity and specificity of the test were good. Our data support the hypothesis that HBoV1 may cause RTIs, and we propose that HBoV1 mRNA could be used with benefit, instead of HBoV1 DNA, as a diagnostic target.

  • Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment PDF Version [PDF - 498 KB - 8 pages]
    T. L. Fuller et al.
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    Reassortment is most likely to occur in eastern China, central China, or the Nile Delta in Egypt.

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    The 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics, each of which killed ≈1 million persons, arose through reassortment events. Influenza virus in humans and domestic animals could reassort and cause another pandemic. To identify geographic areas where agricultural production systems are conducive to reassortment, we fitted multivariate regression models to surveillance data on influenza A virus subtype H5N1 among poultry in China and Egypt and subtype H3N2 among humans. We then applied the models across Asia and Egypt to predict where subtype H3N2 from humans and subtype H5N1 from birds overlap; this overlap serves as a proxy for co-infection and in vivo reassortment. For Asia, we refined the prioritization by identifying areas that also have high swine density. Potential geographic foci of reassortment include the northern plains of India, coastal and central provinces of China, the western Korean Peninsula and southwestern Japan in Asia, and the Nile Delta in Egypt.

  • Effect of 10-Valent Pneumococcal Vaccine on Pneumonia among Children, Brazil PDF Version [PDF - 714 KB - 9 pages]
    E. Afonso et al.
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    Vaccination rapidly reduced hospitalizations for pneumonia among children.

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    Pneumonia is most problematic for children in developing countries. In 2010, Brazil introduced a 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) to its National Immunization Program. To assess the vaccine’s effectiveness for preventing pneumonia, we analyzed rates of hospitalization among children 2–24 months of age who had pneumonia from all causes from January 2005 through August 2011. We used data from the National Hospitalization Information System to conduct an interrupted time-series analysis for 5 cities in Brazil that had good data quality and high PCV10 vaccination coverage. Of the 197,975 hospitalizations analyzed, 30% were for pneumonia. Significant declines in hospitalizations for pneumonia were noted in Belo Horizonte (28.7%), Curitiba (23.3%), and Recife (27.4%) but not in São Paulo and Porto Alegre. However, in the latter 2 cities, vaccination coverage was less than that in the former 3. Overall, 1 year after introduction of PCV10, hospitalizations of children for pneumonia were reduced.

  • Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Chacma Baboons, South Africa PDF Version [PDF - 589 KB - 8 pages]
    C. Dickens et al.
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    Whether baboons were infected with HBV by humans or vice versa is unclear.

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    During previous studies of susceptibility to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, HBV DNA was detected in 2/6 wild-caught baboons. In the present study, HBV DNA was amplified from 15/69 wild-caught baboons. All animals were negative for HBV surface antigen and antibody against HBV core antigen. Liver tissue from 1 baboon was immunohistochemically negative for HBV surface antigen but positive for HBV core antigen. The complete HBV genome of an isolate from this liver clustered with subgenotype A2. Reverse transcription PCR of liver RNA amplified virus precore and surface protein genes, indicating replication of virus in baboon liver tissue. Four experimentally naive baboons were injected with serum from HBV DNA–positive baboons. These 4 baboons showed transient seroconversion, and HBV DNA was amplified from serum at various times after infection. The presence of HBV DNA at relatively low levels and in the absence of serologic markers in the baboon, a nonhuman primate, indicates an occult infection.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Risk Factors for Influenza among Health Care Workers during 2009 Pandemic, Toronto, Ontario, Canada PDF Version [PDF - 687 KB - 10 pages]
    S. P. Kuster et al.
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    Influenza was associated with household exposure, aerosol-generating procedures, and lower adherence to hand hygiene recommendations.

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    This prospective cohort study, performed during the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, was aimed to determine whether adults working in acute care hospitals were at higher risk than other working adults for influenza and to assess risk factors for influenza among health care workers (HCWs). We assessed the risk for influenza among 563 HCWs and 169 non-HCWs using PCR to test nasal swab samples collected during acute respiratory illness; results for 13 (2.2%) HCWs and 7 (4.1%) non-HCWs were positive for influenza. Influenza infection was associated with contact with family members who had acute respiratory illnesses (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 6.9, 95% CI 2.2–21.8); performing aerosol-generating medical procedures (AOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1–3.5); and low self-reported adherence to hand hygiene recommendations (AOR 0.9, 95% CI 0.7–1.0). Contact with persons with acute respiratory illness, rather than workplace, was associated with influenza infection. Adherence to infection control recommendations may prevent influenza among HCWs.

  • Deaths Associated with Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19, Japan PDF Version [PDF - 514 KB - 7 pages]
    S. Chandra
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    Contrary to popular belief, Japan’s experience of the 1918 influenza pandemic was typical of that of Asian countries.

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    Current estimates of deaths from the influenza pandemic of 1918–19 in Japan are based on vital records and range from 257,000 to 481,000. The resulting crude death rate range of 0.47%–0.88% is considerably lower than parallel and conservative worldwide estimates of 1.66%–2.77%. Because the accuracy of vital registration records for early 20th century Asia is questionable, to calculate the percentage of the population who died from the pandemic, we used alternative prefecture-level population count data for Japan in combination with estimation methods for panel data that were not available to earlier demographers. Our population loss estimates of 1.97–2.02 million are appreciably higher than the standing estimates, and they yield a crude rate of population loss of 3.62%–3.71%. This rate resolves a major puzzle about the pandemic by indicating that the experience of Japan was similar to that of other parts of Asia.

  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Colonization of the Groin and Risk for Clinical Infection among HIV-infected Adults PDF Version [PDF - 620 KB - 7 pages]
    P. J. Peters et al.
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    Data on the interaction between methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization and clinical infection are limited. During 2007–2008, we enrolled HIV-infected adults in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, in a prospective cohort study. Nares and groin swab specimens were cultured for S. aureus at enrollment and after 6 and 12 months. MRSA colonization was detected in 13%–15% of HIV-infected participants (n = 600, 98% male) at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. MRSA colonization was detected in the nares only (41%), groin only (21%), and at both sites (38%). Over a median of 2.1 years of follow-up, 29 MRSA clinical infections occurred in 25 participants. In multivariate analysis, MRSA clinical infection was significantly associated with MRSA colonization of the groin (adjusted risk ratio 4.8) and a history of MRSA infection (adjusted risk ratio 3.1). MRSA prevention strategies that can effectively prevent or eliminate groin colonization are likely necessary to reduce clinical infections in this population.

  • Description and Nomenclature of Neisseria meningitidis Capsule Locus PDF Version [PDF - 500 KB - 4 pages]
    O. B. Harrison et al.
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    Revised nomenclature for serogroups and capsule biosynthesis genes is proposed.

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    Pathogenic Neisseria meningitidis isolates contain a polysaccharide capsule that is the main virulence determinant for this bacterium. Thirteen capsular polysaccharides have been described, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has enabled determination of the structure of capsular polysaccharides responsible for serogroup specificity. Molecular mechanisms involved in N. meningitidis capsule biosynthesis have also been identified, and genes involved in this process and in cell surface translocation are clustered at a single chromosomal locus termed cps. The use of multiple names for some of the genes involved in capsule synthesis, combined with the need for rapid diagnosis of serogroups commonly associated with invasive meningococcal disease, prompted a requirement for a consistent approach to the nomenclature of capsule genes. In this report, a comprehensive description of all N. meningitidis serogroups is provided, along with a proposed nomenclature, which was presented at the 2012 XVIIIth International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference.


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