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Volume 3, Number 2—June 1997

Volume 3, Number 2—June 1997   PDF Version [PDF - 6.93 MB - 168 pages]

THEME ISSUE
From the 1st International Conference on Emerging Zoonoses

From the 1st International Conference on Emerging Zoonoses

  • The Hantaviruses of Europe: from the Bedside to the Bench PDF Version [PDF - 101 KB - 7 pages]
    J. Clement et al.
  • Brucellosis: an Overview PDF Version [PDF - 53 KB - 9 pages]
    M. J. Corbel
       View Abstract

    Brucellosis remains a major zoonosis worldwide. Although many countries have eradicated Brucella abortus from cattle, in some areas Brucella melitensis has emerged as a cause of infection in this species as well as in sheep and goats. Despite vaccination campaigns with the Rev 1 strain, B. melitensis remains the principal cause of human brucellosis. Brucella suis is also emerging as an agent of infection in cattle, thus extending its opportunities to infect humans. The recent isolation of distinctive strains of Brucella from marine mammals has extended its ecologic range. Molecular genetic studies have demonstrated the phylogenetic affiliation to Agrobacterium, Phyllobacterium, Ochrobactrum, and Rhizobium. Polymerase chain reaction and gene probe development may provide more effective typing methods. Pathogenicity is related to production of lipopolysaccharides containing a poly N-formyl perosamine O chain, Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase, erythrulose phosphate dehydrogenase, stress-induced proteins related to intracellular survival, and adenine and guanine monophosphate inhibitors of phagocyte functions. Protective immunity is conferred by antibody to lipopolysaccharide and T-cell-mediated macrophage activation triggered by protein antigens. Diagnosis still centers on isolation of the organism and serologic test results, especially enzyme immunoassay, which is replacing other methods. Polymerase chain reaction is also under evaluation. Therapy is based on tetracyclines with or without rifampicin, aminoglycosides, or quinolones. No satisfactory vaccines against human brucellosis are available, although attenuated purE mutants appear promising.

  • Global Aspects of Emerging and Potential Zoonoses: a WHO Perspective PDF Version [PDF - 32 KB - 6 pages]
    F. Meslin
       View Abstract

    Many new human pathogens that have emerged or reemerged worldwide originated from animals or from products of animal origin. Many animal species as well as categories of agents have been involved in the emergence of diseases. Wild (e.g., bats, rodents) as well as draught animals (e.g., horses) and food animals ( e.g., poultry, cattle) were implicated in the epidemiologic cycles of these diseases. Many of the agents responsible for new infections and diseases in humans were viruses (e.g., hantaviruses, lyssaviruses, and morbilliviruses), but bacteria, especially enteritic bacteria (e.g., Salmonellae and Escherichia coli) and parasites (e.g., Cryptosporidium) of animal origin, were also involved in major food and waterborne outbreaks. The public health relevance of some of these agents (e.g., new lyssaviruses and morbilliviruses) is not yet fully assessed. In addition the zoonotic nature of some other human diseases, such as Ebola and the new variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is suspected but not yet demonstrated. Finally, the possible future use of xenografts may lead, if precautions are not taken, to the emergence of new diseases called xenozoonoses.

  • Epidemiology of Emerging Zoonoses in Israel PDF Version [PDF - 279 KB - 10 pages]
    A. Shimshony
  • Electronic Media and Emerging Zoonoses PDF Version [PDF - 10 KB - 1 page]
    S. A. Berger

Volume 3, Number 2—June 1997 - Continued

Perspective

  • The Economic Impact of a Bioterrorist Attack: Are Prevention and Postattack Intervention Programs Justifiable? PDF Version [PDF - 807 KB - 12 pages]
    A. F. Kaufmann et al.
       View Abstract

    Understanding and quantifying the impact of a bioterrorist attack are essential in developing public health preparedness for such an attack. We constructed a model that compares the impact of three classic agents of biologic warfare (Bacillus anthracis, Brucella melitensis, and Francisella tularensis) when released as aerosols in the suburb of a major city. The model shows that the economic impact of a bioterrorist attack can range from an estimated $477.7 million per 100,000 persons exposed (brucellosis scenario) to $26.2 billion per 100,000 persons exposed (anthrax scenario). Rapid implementation of a postattack prophylaxis program is the single most important means of reducing these losses. By using an insurance analogy, our model provides economic justification for preparedness measures.

Synopses

  • Hantaviruses: A Global Disease Problem PDF Version [PDF - 214 KB - 10 pages]
    C. Schmaljohn and B. Hjelle
       View Abstract

    Hantaviruses are carried by numerous rodent species throughout the world. In 1993, a previously unknown group of hantaviruses emerged in the United States as the cause of an acute respiratory disease now termed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Before then, hantaviruses were known as the etiologic agents of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, a disease that occurs almost entirely in the Eastern Hemisphere. Since the discovery of the HPS-causing hantaviruses, intense investigation of the ecology and epidemiology of hantaviruses has led to the discovery of many other novel hantaviruses. Their ubiquity and potential for causing severe human illness make these viruses an important public health concern; we reviewed the distribution, ecology, disease potential, and genetic spectrum.

  • Japanese Spotted Fever: Report of 31 Cases and Review of the Literature PDF Version [PDF - 177 KB - 7 pages]
    F. Mahara
       View Abstract

    Spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses, which are transmitted by ticks, were long thought not to exist in Japan. Three clinical cases of Japanese spotted fever (JSF) were first reported in 1984. The causative agent was isolated and named Rickettsia japonica. Through October 1996, 31 cases were diagnosed as JSF in Tokushima Prefecture. Infected patients typically had acute high fever, headache, and characteristic exanthema; eschar was observed in 90%. After the discovery of JSF, more than a hundred cases were reported in southwestern and central Japan. Recent surveys show ticks to be the most probable vectors. As an emerging infectious disease, JSF is not commonly recognized by clinicians; therefore, even though it has not caused fatal cases, it merits careful monitoring.

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: An Unrecognized Emerging Infectious Disease? PDF Version [PDF - 177 KB - 16 pages]
    M. A. Miller-Hjelle et al.
       View Abstract

    Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the most common genetic diseases in humans. We contend that it may be an emerging infectious disease and/or microbial toxicosis in a vulnerable human subpopulation. Use of a differential activation protocol for the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assay showed bacterial endotoxin and fungal (13)-ß-D-glucans in cyst fluids from human kidneys with PKD. Fatty acid analysis of cyst fluid confirmed the presence of 3-hydroxy fatty acids characteristic of endotoxin. Tissue and cyst fluid from three PKD patients were examined for fungal components. Serologic tests showed Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Candida antigens. IgE, but not IgG, reactive with Fusarium and Candida were also detected in cyst fluid. Fungal DNA was detected in kidney tissue and cyst fluid from these three PKD patients, but not in healthy human kidney tissue. We examine the intertwined nature of the actions of endotoxin and fungal components, sphingolipid biology in PKD, the structure of PKD gene products, infections, and integrity of gut function to establish a mechanistic hypothesis for microbial provocation of human cystic disease. Proof of this hypothesis will require identification of the microbes and microbial components involved and multifaceted studies of PKD cell biology.

  • Borna Disease PDF Version [PDF - 36 KB - 7 pages]
    C. G. Hatalski et al.
       View Abstract

    Borna disease virus, a newly classified nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus with international distribution, infects a broad range of warm-blooded animals from birds to primates. Infection causes movement and behavioral disturbances reminiscent of some neuropsychiatric syndromes. The virus has not been clearly linked to any human disease; however, an association between infection with the virus and selected neuropsychiatric disorders has been suggested. We reviewed recent advances in Borna disease virus research, focusing on evidence of infection in humans.

  • The Rickettsia: an Emerging Group of Pathogens in Fish PDF Version [PDF - 382 KB - 8 pages]
    J. L. Fryer and M. J. Mauel
       View Abstract

    Piscirickettsia salmonis is the first of the previously unrecognized rickettsial pathogens of fish to be fully characterized. Since the recognition of P. salmonis in 1989, the impact of rickettsial pathogens in fish has become increasingly apparent. Growing awareness of the emergence of these fastidious intracellular organisms has led to the discovery of rickettsial diseases among diverse species of fish from different geographic locations and aquatic environments. The source, reservoir, and mode of transmission of these agents as well as appropriate methods of disease prevention and control remain to be established.

  • Rhodococcus equi and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum: Two "Coryneform" Bacteria Increasingly Recognized as Agents of Human Infection PDF Version [PDF - 262 KB - 9 pages]
    R. Linder
       View Abstract

    Rhodococcus equi and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, formerly classified in the genus Corynebacterium, are members of the loosely defined taxon "coryneform" bacteria. Although they are the etiologic agents of distinct human infections, both organisms are frequently overlooked, which results in missed or delayed diagnoses. R. equi, long known as an important pathogen of immature horses, has become in the past three decades an opportunistic pathogen of severely immunosuppressed humans. Most cases are secondary to HIV infection. When specifically sought in throat swab cultures, A. haemolyticum is found responsible for 0.5% to 2.5% of bacterial pharyngitis, especially among adolescents. These two microorganisms represent a spectrum of disease in humans: from a mild, common illness to a rare life-threatening infection. Each organism elaborates lipid hydrolyzing enzymes (cholesterol oxidase by R. equi and sphingomyelinase D by A. haemolyticum) that are toxic to animals and humans and damaging to mammalian cell membranes. The participation of the cytotoxins in pathogenicity is discussed. Greater awareness of the properties of these two bacteria may promote faster, more accurate diagnoses and better clinical management.

  • Is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Transmitted in Blood? PDF Version [PDF - 44 KB - 9 pages]
    M. N. Ricketts et al.
       View Abstract

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) has been considered infectious since the mid-1960s, but its transmissibility through the transfusion of blood or blood products is controversial. The causative agent's novel undefined nature and resistance to standard decontamination, the absence of a screening test, and the recognition that even rare cases of transmission may be unacceptable have led to the revision of policies and procedures worldwide affecting all facets of blood product manufacturing from blood collection to transfusion. We reviewed current evidence that CJD is transmitted through blood.

Dispatches

  • A New Tick-borne Encephalitis-like Virus Infecting New England Deer Ticks, Ixodes dammini PDF Version [PDF - 632 KB - 6 pages]
    S. R. Telford et al.
       View Abstract

    To determine if eastern North American Ixodes dammini, like related ticks in Eurasia, maintain tick-borne encephalitis group viruses, we analyzed ticks collected from sites where the agent of Lyme disease is zoonotic. Two viral isolates were obtained by inoculating mice with homogenates from tick salivary glands. The virus, which was described by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing of the amplification products, was similar to, but distinct from, Powassan virus and is provisionally named "deer tick virus." Enzootic tick-borne encephalitis group viruses accompany the agents of Lyme disease, babesiosis, and granulocytic ehrlichiosis in a Holarctic assemblage of emergent deer tick pathogens.

  • An Unusual Hantavirus Outbreak in Southern Argentina: Person-to-Person Transmission? PDF Version [PDF - 42 KB - 4 pages]
    R. M. Wells et al.
       View Abstract

    Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rodent-borne zoonosis first recognized in the United States in 1993. Person-to-person transmission has not been reported; however, in the outbreak of 20 cases reported here, epidemiologic evidence strongly suggests this route of transmission.

  • Pertussis in the Netherlands: an Outbreak Despite High Levels of Immunization with Whole-Cell Vaccine PDF Version [PDF - 30 KB - 4 pages]
    H. de Melker et al.
       View Abstract

    In 1996, a sudden increase in pertussis incidence was reported in the Netherlands (2.1 per 100,000 in 1995, 18 per 100,000 in 1996). Although not all potential surveillance artifacts could be excluded, it is highly probable that the data reflect a true outbreak. However, the cause of this increase has not yet been determined. Further research is directed to the severity of disease and a possible mismatch between the vaccine and the circulating Bordetella strains.

  • Invasive Haemophilus influenzae Type B Disease in Elderly Nursing Home Residents: Two Related Cases PDF Version [PDF - 157 KB - 4 pages]
    T. C. Heath et al.
       View Abstract

    We investigated two fatal cases of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection in a community nursing home in western Sydney, Australia. Two elderly women had lived in the same room, and the onset of their illness was 5 days apart. Hib isolates from blood cultures showed identical profiles by pulsed field gel electrophoresis. These findings suggest that Hib infection was transmitted within this nursing home. Serious Hib disease may be underrecognized in this setting. Continued surveillance and serotyping of invasive H. influenzae disease is essential for identifying groups at increasing risk that may benefit from immunization against Hib.

  • Seroepidemiologic Studies of Hantavirus Infection Among Wild Rodents in California PDF Version [PDF - 134 KB - 8 pages]
    M. Jay et al.
       View Abstract

    A total of 4,626 mammals were serologically tested for antibodies to Sin Nombre virus. All nonrodent species were antibody negative. Among wild rodents, antibody prevalence was 8.5% in murids, 1.4% in heteromyids, and < 0.1% in sciurids. Of 1,921 Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice), 226 (11.8%) were antibody positive, including one collected in 1975. The highest antibody prevalence (71.4% of 35) was found among P. maniculatus on Santa Cruz Island, off the southern California coast. Prevalence of antibodies among deer mice trapped near sites of human cases (26.8% of 164) was significantly higher than that of mice from other sites (odds ratio = 4.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.7, 11.6). Antibody prevalence increased with rising elevation (>1,200 meters) and correlated with a spatial cluster of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome cases in the Sierra Nevada.

  • Gestational Psittacosis in a Montana Sheep Rancher PDF Version [PDF - 27 KB - 4 pages]
    D. M. Jorgensen
       View Abstract

    In humans, psittacosis is primarily a flulike illness following exposure to psittacine birds. In rare cases, pregnant women exposed to Chlamydia psittaci can contract gestational psittacosis: atypical pneumonia, sepsis, and placental insufficiency resulting in premature birth or miscarriage. In the United States, only two cases of gestational psittacosis have been reported, both from exposure to psittacine birds. Eleven other cases have been reported worldwide, mostly in the United Kingdom, all from exposure to infected birth fluids and membranes of farm mammals, notably sheep and goats. In these mammals, C. psittaci inhabit the reproductive tract, are transmitted sexually or by the fecal-oral route, and cause miscarriages. The case of gestational psittacosis in a Montana sheep rancher is the first farm animal-related case reported in the United States. Pregnant women should avoid close contact with C. psittaci-infected animals, particularly sheep and goats during the birthing season. Obstetricians should consider this diagnosis along with early antibiotic treatment and cesarean section delivery in the context of the patient's case history.

  • Lack of Serologic Evidence for an Association between Cache Valley Virus Infection and Anencephaly and other Neural Tube Defects in Texas PDF Version [PDF - 18 KB - 3 pages]
    J. F. Edwards and K. Hendricks
       View Abstract

    We tested the hypothesis that Cache Valley Virus (CVV), an endemic North American bunyavirus, may be involved in the pathogenesis of human neural tube defects. This investigation followed a 1990 and 1991 south Texas outbreak of neural tube defects with a high prevalence of anencephaly and the demonstration in 1987 that in utero infection by CVV was the cause of outbreaks of central nervous system and musculoskeletal defects in North American ruminants. Sera from 74 women who gave birth to infants with neural tube defects in south Texas from 1993 through early 1995 were tested for CVV neutralizing antibody. All tested sera did not neutralize CVV. These data suggest that CVV is not involved in the induction of human neural tube defects during nonepidemic periods but do not preclude CVV involvement during epidemics. Other endemic bunyaviruses may still be involved in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects or other congenital central nervous system or musculoskeletal malformations.

  • Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis Survey—Kentucky, 1994 PDF Version [PDF - 20 KB - 4 pages]
    M. Auslander and C. Kaelin
       View Abstract

    A survey of rabies postexposure prophylaxis administered by local health departments for a 1-year period showed that very few patients received treatment as a result of exposure to a confirmed rabid animal. Most prophylaxis was administered for contact with domestic animals in situations where existing recommendations for quarantine or laboratory testing of the animal were not followed. Because rabies in domestic animals in Kentucky is uncommon, these findings suggest that had the existing recommendations been followed, the prophylaxis would have been unnecessary in most cases.

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