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Volume 19, Number 6—June 2013

Volume 19, Number 6—June 2013   PDF Version [PDF - 8.32 MB - 195 pages]


  • Prospects for Emerging Infections in East and Southeast Asia 10 Years after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome PDF Version [PDF - 491 KB - 8 pages]
    P. Horby et al.
       View Abstract

    It is 10 years since severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged, and East and Southeast Asia retain a reputation as a hot spot of emerging infectious diseases. The region is certainly a hot spot of socioeconomic and environmental change, and although some changes (e.g., urbanization and agricultural intensification) may reduce the probability of emerging infectious diseases, the effect of any individual emergence event may be increased by the greater concentration and connectivity of livestock, persons, and products. The region is now better able to detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases than it was a decade ago, but the tools and methods to produce sufficiently refined assessments of the risks of disease emergence are still lacking. Given the continued scale and pace of change in East and Southeast Asia, it is vital that capabilities for predicting, identifying, and controlling biologic threats do not stagnate as the memory of SARS fades.

  • Public Health Lessons from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome a Decade Later PDF Version [PDF - 361 KB - 3 pages]
    J. P. Koplan et al.
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    The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2002–2003 exacted considerable human and economic costs from countries involved. It also exposed major weaknesses in several of these countries in coping with an outbreak of a newly emerged infectious disease. In the 10 years since the outbreak, in addition to the increase in knowledge of the biology and epidemiology of this disease, a major lesson learned is the value of having a national public health institute that is prepared to control disease outbreaks and designed to coordinate a national response and assist localities in their responses.


  • Progress in Global Surveillance and Response Capacity 10 Years after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome PDF Version [PDF - 378 KB - 6 pages]
    C. R. Braden et al.
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    Ten years have elapsed since the World Health Organization issued its first global alert for an unexplained illness named severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the international response to this new global microbial threat. While global surveillance and response capacity for public health threats have been strengthened, critical gaps remain. Of 194 World Health Organization member states that signed on to the International Health Regulations (2005), <20% had achieved compliance with the core capacities required by the deadline in June 2012. Lessons learned from the global SARS outbreak highlight the need to avoid complacency, strengthen efforts to improve global capacity to address the next pandemic using all available 21st century tools, and support research to develop new treatment options, countermeasures, and insights while striving to address the global inequities that are the root cause of many of these challenges.

  • New Delhi Metallo-β-Lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae, United States PDF Version [PDF - 651 KB - 9 pages]
    J. Rasheed et al.
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    Rapid and reliable methods for detection of these organisms are needed to prevent further dissemination.

       View Abstract

    We characterized 9 New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (5 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 2 Escherichia coli, 1 Enterobacter cloacae, 1 Salmonella enterica serovar Senftenberg) isolates identified in the United States and cultured from 8 patients in 5 states during April 2009–March 2011. Isolates were resistant to β-lactams, fluoroquinolones, and aminoglycosides, demonstrated MICs ≤1 µg/mL of colistin and polymyxin, and yielded positive metallo-β-lactamase screening results. Eight isolates had blaNDM-1, and 1 isolate had a novel allele (blaNDM-6). All 8 patients had recently been in India or Pakistan, where 6 received inpatient health care. Plasmids carrying blaNDM frequently carried AmpC or extended spectrum β-lactamase genes. Two K. pneumoniae isolates and a K. pneumoniae isolate from Sweden shared incompatibility group A/C plasmids with indistinguishable restriction patterns and a common blaNDM fragment; all 3 were multilocus sequence type 14. Restriction profiles of the remaining New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase plasmids, including 2 from the same patient, were diverse.

  • Pandemic Influenza Planning, United States, 1978–2008 PDF Version [PDF - 414 KB - 7 pages]
    J. Iskander et al.
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    During the past century, 4 influenza pandemics occurred. After the emergence of a novel influenza virus of swine origin in 1976, national, state, and local US public health authorities began planning efforts to respond to future pandemics. Several events have since stimulated progress in public health emergency planning: the 1997 avian influenza A(H5N1) outbreak in Hong Kong, China; the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States; the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome; and the 2003 reemergence of influenza A(H5N1) virus infection in humans. We outline the evolution of US pandemic planning since the late 1970s, summarize planning accomplishments, and explain their ongoing importance. The public health community’s response to the 2009 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic demonstrated the value of planning and provided insights into improving future plans and response efforts. Preparedness planning will enhance the collective, multilevel response to future public health crises.

  • Cell Culture and Electron Microscopy for Identifying Viruses in Diseases of Unknown Cause PDF Version [PDF - 642 KB - 6 pages]
    C. S. Goldsmith et al.
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    During outbreaks of infectious diseases or in cases of severely ill patients, it is imperative to identify the causative agent. This report describes several events in which virus isolation and identification by electron microscopy were critical to initial recognition of the etiologic agent, which was further analyzed by additional laboratory diagnostic assays. Examples include severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and Nipah, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, West Nile, Cache Valley, and Heartland viruses. These cases illustrate the importance of the techniques of cell culture and electron microscopy in pathogen identification and recognition of emerging diseases.

  • Zoonotic Mycobacterium bovis–induced Tuberculosis in Humans PDF Version [PDF - 595 KB - 10 pages]
    B. Müller et al.
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    A systematic review of the global occurrence of zoonotic TB, suggesting a worldwide low incidence of the disease, even in high-risk, low-income countries.

       View Abstract

    We aimed to estimate the global occurrence of zoonotic tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis or M. caprae infections in humans by performing a multilingual, systematic review and analysis of relevant scientific literature of the last 2 decades. Although information from many parts of the world was not available, data from 61 countries suggested a low global disease incidence. In regions outside Africa included in this study, overall median proportions of zoonotic TB of ≤1.4% in connection with overall TB incidence rates ≤71/100,000 population/year suggested low incidence rates. For countries of Africa included in the study, we multiplied the observed median proportion of zoonotic TB cases of 2.8% with the continental average overall TB incidence rate of 264/100,000 population/year, which resulted in a crude estimate of 7 zoonotic TB cases/100,000 population/year. These generally low incidence rates notwithstanding, available data indicated substantial consequences of this disease for some population groups and settings.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Iatrogenic Blood-borne Viral Infections in Refugee Children from War and Transition Zones
    P. N. Goldwater
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    Cases provide a stimulus to alert reception countries to a possible problem.

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    Pediatric infectious disease clinicians in industrialized countries may encounter iatrogenically transmitted HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus infections in refugee children from Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The consequences of political collapse and/or civil war—work migration, prostitution, intravenous drug use, defective public health resources, and poor access to good medical care—all contribute to the spread of blood-borne viruses. Inadequate infection control practices by medical establishments can lead to iatrogenic infection of children. Summaries of 4 cases in refugee children in Australia are a salient reminder of this problem.


  • Characteristics of Group A Streptococcus Strains Circulating during Scarlet Fever Epidemic, Beijing, China, 2011 PDF Version [PDF - 547 KB - 7 pages]
    P. Yang et al.
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    Scarlet fever is one of a variety of diseases caused by group A Streptococcus (GAS). During 2011, a scarlet fever epidemic characterized by peak monthly incidence rates 2.9–6.7 times higher than those in 2006–2010 occurred in Beijing, China. During the epidemic, hospital-based enhanced surveillance for scarlet fever and pharyngitis was conducted to determine characteristics of circulating GAS strains. The surveillance identified 3,359 clinical cases of scarlet fever or pharyngitis. GAS was isolated from 647 of the patients; 76.4% of the strains were type emm12, and 17.1% were emm1. Almost all isolates harbored superantigens speC and ssa. All isolates were susceptible to penicillin, and resistance rates were 96.1% to erythromycin, 93.7% to tetracycline, and 79.4% to clindamycin. Because emm12 type GAS is not the predominant type in other countries, wider surveillance for the possible spread of emm12 type GAS from China to other countries is warranted.

  • Transmission Potential of Rift Valley Fever Virus over the Course of the 2010 Epidemic in South Africa PDF Version [PDF - 1.17 MB - 9 pages]
    R. Métras et al.
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    Epidemic fade-out occurred as susceptible hosts were depleted and vector-suitable environmental conditions declined.

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    A Rift Valley fever (RVF) epidemic affecting animals on domestic livestock farms was reported in South Africa during January–August 2010. The first cases occurred after heavy rainfall, and the virus subsequently spread countrywide. To determine the possible effect of environmental conditions and vaccination on RVF virus transmissibility, we estimated the effective reproduction number (Re) for the virus over the course of the epidemic by extending the Wallinga and Teunis algorithm with spatial information. Re reached its highest value in mid-February and fell below unity around mid-March, when vaccination coverage was 7.5%–45.7% and vector-suitable environmental conditions were maintained. The epidemic fade-out likely resulted first from the immunization of animals following natural infection or vaccination. The decline in vector-suitable environmental conditions from April onwards and further vaccination helped maintain Re below unity. Increased availability of vaccine use data would enable evaluation of the effect of RVF vaccination campaigns.

  • Effect of Travel on Influenza Epidemiology PDF Version [PDF - 403 KB - 7 pages]
    S. Belderok et al.
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    Short-term travelers often visit (sub)tropical regions where influenza viruses continuously circulate and after contracting the disease they could become vectors that further spread the virus worldwide.

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    To assess the attack and incidence rates for influenza virus infections, during October 2006–October 2007 we prospectively studied 1,190 adult short-term travelers from the Netherlands to tropical and subtropical countries. Participants donated blood samples before and after travel and kept a travel diary. The samples were serologically tested for the epidemic strains during the study period. The attack rate for all infections was 7% (86 travelers) and for influenza-like illness (ILI), 0.8%. The incidence rate for all infections was 8.9 per 100 person-months and for ILI, 0.9%. Risk factors for infection were birth in a non-Western country, age 55–64 years, and ILI. In 15 travelers with fever or ILI, influenza virus infection was serologically confirmed; 7 of these travelers were considered contagious or incubating the infection while traveling home. Given the large number of travelers to (sub)tropical countries, travel-related infection most likely contributes to importation and further influenza spread worldwide.

  • Haemophilus influenzae Serotype a Invasive Disease, Alaska, USA, 1983–2011 PDF Version [PDF - 375 KB - 6 pages]
    M. G. Bruce et al.
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    Before introduction of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines, rates of Hib disease in Alaska’s indigenous people were among the highest in the world. Vaccination reduced rates dramatically; however, invasive H. influenzae type a (Hia) disease has emerged. Cases of invasive disease were identified through Alaska statewide surveillance during1983–2011. Of 866 isolates analyzed for serotype, 32 (4%) were Hia. No Hia disease was identified before 2002; 32 cases occurred during 2002–2011 (p<0.001). Median age of case-patients was 0.7 years; 3 infants died. Incidence of Hia infection (2002–2011) among children <5 years was 5.4/100,000; 27 cases occurred in Alaska Native children (18/100,000) versus 2 cases in non-Native children (0.5/100,000) (risk ratio = 36, p<0.001). From 12/2009 to 12/2011, 15 cases of Hia disease occurred in southwestern Alaska (in children <5 years, rate = 204/100,000). Since introduction of the Hib conjugate vaccine, Hia infection has become a major invasive bacterial disease in Alaska Native children.

  • Effect of Winter School Breaks on Influenza-like Illness, Argentina, 2005–2008 PDF Version [PDF - 554 KB - 7 pages]
    R. C. Garza et al.
       View Abstract

    School closures are used to reduce seasonal and pandemic influenza transmission, yet evidence of their effectiveness is sparse. In Argentina, annual winter school breaks occur during the influenza season, providing an opportunity to study this intervention. We used 2005–2008 national weekly surveillance data of visits to a health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) from all provinces. Using Serfling-specified Poisson regressions and population-based census denominators, we developed incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for the 3 weeks before, 2 weeks during, and 3 weeks after the break. For persons 5–64 years of age, IRRs were <1 for at least 1 week after the break. Observed rates returned to expected by the third week after the break; overall decrease among persons of all ages was 14%. The largest decrease was among children 5–14 years of age during the week after the break (37% lower IRR). Among adults, effects were weaker and delayed. Two-week winter school breaks significantly decreased visits to a health care provider for ILI among school-aged children and nonelderly adults.

  • Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Dengue Epidemics, Southern Vietnam PDF Version [PDF - 501 KB - 9 pages]
    H. Cuong et al.
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    Control efforts could be targeted according to dry season incidence and proximity to known epidemic hotspots.

       View Abstract

    An improved understanding of heterogeneities in dengue virus transmission might provide insights into biological and ecologic drivers and facilitate predictions of the magnitude, timing, and location of future dengue epidemics. To investigate dengue dynamics in urban Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring rural provinces in Vietnam, we analyzed a 10-year monthly time series of dengue surveillance data from southern Vietnam. The per capita incidence of dengue was lower in Ho Chi Minh City than in most rural provinces; annual epidemics occurred 1–3 months later in Ho Chi Minh City than elsewhere. The timing and the magnitude of annual epidemics were significantly more correlated in nearby districts than in remote districts, suggesting that local biological and ecologic drivers operate at a scale of 50–100 km. Dengue incidence during the dry season accounted for 63% of variability in epidemic magnitude. These findings can aid the targeting of vector-control interventions and the planning for dengue vaccine implementation.

  • Active Surveillance for Influenza A Virus among Swine, Midwestern United States, 2009–2011 PDF Version [PDF - 480 KB - 7 pages]
    C. A. Corzo et al.
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    Different influenza viruses circulate simultaneously among pig populations throughout the year.

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    Veterinary diagnostic laboratories identify and characterize influenza A viruses primarily through passive surveillance. However, additional surveillance programs are needed. To meet this need, an active surveillance program was conducted at pig farms throughout the midwestern United States. From June 2009 through December 2011, nasal swab samples were collected monthly from among 540 groups of growing pigs and tested for influenza A virus by real-time reverse transcription PCR. Of 16,170 samples, 746 were positive for influenza A virus; of these, 18.0% were subtype H1N1, 16.0% H1N2, 7.6% H3N2, and 14.5% (H1N1)pdm09. An influenza (H3N2) and (H1N1)pdm09 virus were identified simultaneously in 8 groups. This active influenza A virus surveillance program provided quality data and increased the understanding of the current situation of circulating viruses in the midwestern US pig population.

  • Novel Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Isolate from a Wild Chimpanzee PDF Version [PDF - 1.07 MB - 8 pages]
    M. Coscolla et al.
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    This lineage is more closely related to human-associated than to classical animal-associated M. tuberculosis complex strains.

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    Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by gram-positive bacteria known as the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). MTBC include several human-associated lineages and several variants adapted to domestic and, more rarely, wild animal species. We report an M. tuberculosis strain isolated from a wild chimpanzee in Côte d’Ivoire that was shown by comparative genomic and phylogenomic analyses to belong to a new lineage of MTBC, closer to the human-associated lineage 6 (also known as M. africanum West Africa 2) than to the other classical animal-associated MTBC strains. These results show that the general view of the genetic diversity of MTBC is limited and support the possibility that other MTBC variants exist, particularly in wild mammals in Africa. Exploring this diversity is crucial to the understanding of the biology and evolutionary history of this widespread infectious disease.

  • Medscape CME Activity
    Foodborne Botulism in Canada, 1985–2005
    D. Leclair et al.



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