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Volume 5, Number 1—February 1999

Volume 5, Number 1—February 1999   PDF Version [PDF - 12.04 MB - 191 pages]


  • International Editors: Emerging Viral Diseases: An Australian Perspective PDF Version [PDF - 84 KB - 8 pages]
    J. S. MacKenzie
  • The Economic Impact of Staphylococcus aureus Infection in New York City Hospitals PDF Version [PDF - 73 KB - 9 pages]
    R. J. Rubin et al.
       View Abstract

    We modeled estimates of the incidence, deaths, and direct medical costs of Staphylococcus aureus infections in hospitalized patients in the New York City metropolitan area in 1995 by using hospital discharge data collected by the New York State Department of Health and standard sources for the costs of health care. We also examined the relative impact of methicillin-resistant versus -sensitive strains of S. aureus and of community-acquired versus nosocomial infections. S. aureus-associated hospitalizations resulted in approximately twice the length of stay, deaths, and medical costs of typical hospitalizations; methicillin-resistant and -sensitive infections had similar direct medical costs, but resistant infections caused more deaths (21% versus 8%). Community-acquired and nosocomial infections had similar death rates, but community-acquired infections appeared to have increased direct medical costs per patient ($35,300 versus $28,800). The results of our study indicate that reducing the incidence of methicillin-resistant and -sensitive nosocomial infections would reduce the societal costs of S. aureus infection.

  • Socioeconomic and Behavioral Factors Leading to Acquired Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics in Developing Countries PDF Version [PDF - 81 KB - 10 pages]
    I. N. Okeke et al.
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    In developing countries, acquired bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents is common in isolates from healthy persons and from persons with community-acquired infections. Complex socioeconomic and behavioral factors associated with antibiotic resistance, particularly regarding diarrheal and respiratory pathogens, in developing tropical countries, include misuse of antibiotics by health professionals, unskilled practitioners, and laypersons; poor drug quality; unhygienic conditions accounting for spread of resistant bacteria; and inadequate surveillance.

  • Campylobacter jejuni—An Emerging Foodborne Pathogen PDF Version [PDF - 144 KB - 8 pages]
    S. F. Altekruse et al.
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    Campylobacter jejuni is the most commonly reported bacterial cause of foodborne infection in the United States. Adding to the human and economic costs are chronic sequelae associated with C. jejuni infection—Guillian-Barré syndrome and reactive arthritis. In addition, an increasing proportion of human infections caused by C. jejuni are resistant to antimicrobial therapy. Mishandling of raw poultry and consumption of undercooked poultry are the major risk factors for human campylobacteriosis. Efforts to prevent human illness are needed throughout each link in the food chain.


  • Comparative Genomics and Host Resistance against Infectious Diseases PDF Version [PDF - 95 KB - 12 pages]
    S. T. Qureshi et al.
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    The large size and complexity of the human genome have limited the identification and functional characterization of components of the innate immune system that play a critical role in front-line defense against invading microorganisms. However, advances in genome analysis (including the development of comprehensive sets of informative genetic markers, improved physical mapping methods, and novel techniques for transcript identification) have reduced the obstacles to discovery of novel host resistance genes. Study of the genomic organization and content of widely divergent vertebrate species has shown a remarkable degree of evolutionary conservation and enables meaningful cross-species comparison and analysis of newly discovered genes. Application of comparative genomics to host resistance will rapidly expand our understanding of human immune defense by facilitating the translation of knowledge acquired through the study of model organisms. We review the rationale and resources for comparative genomic analysis and describe three examples of host resistance genes successfully identified by this approach.

  • Cyclospora: An Enigma Worth Unraveling
    C. R. Sterling and Y. R. Ortega
       View Abstract

    In part, Cyclospora cayetanensis owes its recognition as an emerging pathogen to the increased use of staining methods for detecting enteric parasites such as Cryptosporidium. First reported in patients in New Guinea in 1977 but thought to be a coccidian parasite of the genus Isospora, C. cayetanensis received little attention until it was again described in 1985 in New York and Peru. In the early 1990s, human infection associated with waterborne transmission of C. cayetanensis was suspected; foodborne transmission was likewise suggested in early studies. The parasite was associated with several disease outbreaks in the United States during 1996 and 1997. This article reviews current knowledge about C. cayetanensis (including its association with waterborne and foodborne transmission), unresolved issues, and research needs.

  • Using Monoclonal Antibodies to Prevent Mucosal Transmission of Epidemic Infectious Diseases PDF Version [PDF - 162 KB - 11 pages]
    L. Zeitlin et al.
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    Passive immunization with antibodies has been shown to prevent a wide variety of diseases. Recent advances in monoclonal antibody technology are enabling the development of new methods for passive immunization of mucosal surfaces. Human monoclonal antibodies, produced rapidly, inexpensively, and in large quantities, may help prevent respiratory, diarrheal, and sexually transmitted diseases on a public health scale.


  • Dual and Recombinant Infections: An Integral Part of the HIV-1 Epidemic in Brazil PDF Version [PDF - 173 KB - 10 pages]
    A. Ramos et al.
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    We systematically evaluated multiple and recombinant infections in an HIV-infected population selected for vaccine trials. Seventy-nine HIV-1 infected persons in a clinical cohort study in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were evaluated for 1 year. A combination of molecular screening assays and DNA sequencing showed 3 dual infections (3.8%), 6 recombinant infections (7.6%), and 70 (88.6%) infections involving single viral subtypes. In the three dual infections, we identified HIV-1 subtypes F and B, F and D, and B and D; in contrast, the single and recombinant infections involved only HIV-1 subtypes B and F. The recombinants had five distinct B/F mosaic patterns: Bgag-p17/Bgag -p24/Fpol/Benv , Fgag-p17/Bgag -p24/Fpol/Fenv , Bgag-p17/B-Fgag -p24/Fpol/Fenv , Bgag-p17/B-Fgag -p24/Fpol/Benv , and Fgag-p17/B-Fgag -p24/Fpol/Fenv . No association was found between dual or recombinant infections and demographic or clinical variables. These findings indicate that dual and recombinant infections are emerging as an integral part of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brazil and emphasize the heterogenous character of epidemics emerging in countries where multiple viral subtypes coexist.

  • Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Peromyscus-Borne Hantaviruses in North America PDF Version [PDF - 1.96 MB - 12 pages]
    M. C. Monroe et al.
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    The 1993 outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the southwestern United States was associated with Sin Nombre virus, a rodent-borne hantavirus; The virus' primary reservoir is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Hantavirus-infected rodents were identified in various regions of North America. An extensive nucleotide sequence database of an 139 bp fragment amplified from virus M genomic segments was generated. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that SNV-like hantaviruses are widely distributed in Peromyscus species rodents throughout North America. Classic SNV is the major cause of HPS in North America, but other Peromyscine-borne hantaviruses, e.g., New York and Monongahela viruses, are also associated with HPS cases. Although genetically diverse, SNV-like viruses have slowly coevolved with their rodent hosts. We show that the genetic relationships of hantaviruses in the Americas are complex, most likely as a result of the rapid radiation and speciation of New World sigmodontine rodents and occasional virus-host switching events.

  • Climatic and Environmental Patterns Associated with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Four Corners Region, United States PDF Version [PDF - 333 KB - 14 pages]
    D. M. Engelthaler et al.
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    To investigate climatic, spatial, temporal, and environmental patterns associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases in the Four Corners region, we collected exposure site data for HPS cases that occurred in 1993 to 1995. Cases clustered seasonally and temporally by biome type and geographic location, and exposure sites were most often found in pinyon-juniper woodlands, grasslands, and Great Basin desert scrub lands, at elevations of 1,800 m to 2,500 m. Environmental factors (e.g., the dramatic increase in precipitation associated with the 1992 to 1993 El Niño) may indirectly increase the risk for Sin Nombre virus exposure and therefore may be of value in designing disease prevention campaigns.

  • Long-Term Studies of Hantavirus Reservoir Populations in the Southwestern United States: Rationale, Potential, and Methods PDF Version [PDF - 259 KB - 7 pages]
    J. N. Mills et al.
       View Abstract

    Hantaviruses are rodent-borne zoonotic agents that cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Asia and Europe and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in North and South America. The epidemiology of human diseases caused by these viruses is tied to the ecology of the rodent hosts, and effective control and prevention relies on a thorough understanding of host ecology. After the 1993 HPS outbreak in the southwestern United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated long-term studies of the temporal dynamics of hantavirus infection in host populations. These studies, which used mark-recapture techniques on 24 trapping webs at nine sites in the southwestern United States, were designed to monitor changes in reservoir population densities and in the prevalence and incidence of infection; quantify environmental factors associated with these changes; and when linked to surveillance databases for HPS, lead to predictive models of human risk to be used in the design and implementation of control and prevention measures for human hantavirus disease.

  • Long-Term Hantavirus Persistence in Rodent Populations in Central Arizona PDF Version [PDF - 133 KB - 11 pages]
    K. D. Abbott et al.
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    For 35 months, we monitored hantavirus activity in rodent populations in central Arizona. The most frequently captured hantavirus antibody–positive rodents were Peromyscus boylii and P. truei. Antibody-positive P. boylii were more frequently male (84%), older, and heavier, and they survived longer on trapping web sites than antibody-negative mice. The number of antibody-positive P. boylii was greater during high population densities than during low densities, while antibody prevalence was greater during low population densities. Virus transmission and incidence rates, also related to population densities, varied by trapping site. The spatial distribution of antibody-positive P. boylii varied by population density and reflected the species preference for dense chaparral habitats. The focal ranges of antibody-positive P. boylii also demonstrated a patchy distribution of hantavirus.

  • A Longitudinal Study of Sin Nombre Virus Prevalence in Rodents, Southeastern Arizona PDF Version [PDF - 138 KB - 5 pages]
    A. J. Kuenzi et al.
       View Abstract

    We determined the prevalence of Sin Nombre virus antibodies in small mammals in southeastern Arizona. Of 1,234 rodents (from 13 species) captured each month from May through December 1995, only mice in the genus Peromyscus were seropositive. Antibody prevalence was 14.3% in 21 white-footed mice (P. leucopus), 13.3% in 98 brush mice (P. boylii), 0.8% in 118 cactus mice (P. eremicus), and 0% in 2 deer mice (P. maniculatus). Most antibody-positive mice were adult male Peromyscus captured close to one another early in the study. Population dynamics of brush mice suggest a correlation between population size and hantavirus-antibody prevalence.

  • Statistical Sensitivity for Detection of Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Rodent Population Densities PDF Version [PDF - 151 KB - 8 pages]
    C. A. Parmenter et al.
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    A long-term monitoring program begun 1 year after the epidemic of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the U.S. Southwest tracked rodent density changes through time and among sites and related these changes to hanta–virus infection rates in various small-mammal reservoir species and human disease outbreaks. We assessed the statistical sensitivity of the program's field design and tested for potential biases in population estimates due to unintended deaths of rodents. Analyzing data from two sites in New Mexico from 1994 to 1998, we found that for many species of Peromyscus, Reithrodontomys, Neotoma, Dipodomys, and Perognathus, the monitoring program detected species-specific spatial and temporal differences in rodent densities; trap-related deaths did not significantly affect long-term population estimates. The program also detected a short-term increase in rodent densities in the winter of 1997-98, demonstrating its usefulness in identifying conditions conducive to increased risk for human disease.

  • Natural History of Sin Nombre Virus in Western Colorado PDF Version [PDF - 177 KB - 9 pages]
    C. H. Calisher et al.
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    A mark-recapture longitudinal study of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody to Sin Nombre virus (SNV) in rodent populations in western Colorado (1994—results summarized to October 1997) indicates the presence of SNV or a closely related hantavirus at two sites. Most rodents (principally deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, and pinyon mice, P. truei) did not persist on the trapping webs much beyond 1 month after first capture. Some persisted more than 1 year, which suggests that even a few infected deer mice could serve as transseasonal reservoirs and mechanisms for over-winter virus maintenance. A positive association between wounds and SNV antibody in adult animals at both sites suggests that when infected rodents in certain populations fight with uninfected rodents, virus amplification occurs. At both sites, male rodents comprised a larger percentage of seropositive mice than recaptured mice, which suggests that male mice contribute more to the SNV epizootic cycle than female mice. In deer mice, IgG antibody prevalence fluctuations were positively associated with population fluctuations. The rates of seroconversion, which in deer mice at both sites occurred mostly during late summer and midwinter, were higher than the seroprevalence, which suggests that the longer deer mice live, the greater the probability they will become infected with SNV.

  • Long-Term Studies of Hantavirus Reservoir Populations in the Southwestern United States: A Synthesis PDF Version [PDF - 106 KB - 8 pages]
    J. N. Mills et al.
       View Abstract

    A series of intensive, longitudinal, mark-recapture studies of hantavirus infection dynamics in reservoir populations in the southwestern United States indicates consistent patterns as well as important differences among sites and host-virus associations. All studies found a higher prevalence of infection in older (particularly male) mice; one study associated wounds with seropositivity. These findings are consistent with horizontal transmission and transmission through fighting between adult male rodents. Despite very low rodent densities at some sites, low-level hantavirus infection continued, perhaps because of persistent infection in a few long-lived rodents or periodic reintroduction of virus from neighboring populations. Prevalence of hantavirus antibody showed seasonal and multiyear patterns that suggested a delayed density-dependent relationship between prevalence and population density. Clear differences in population dynamics and patterns of infection among sites, sampling periods, and host species underscore the importance of replication and continuity of long-term reservoir studies. Nevertheless, the measurable associations between environmental variables, reservoir population density, rates of virus transmission, and prevalence of infection in host populations may improve our capacity to model processes influencing infection and predict increased risk for hantavirus transmission to humans.




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