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Volume 5, Number 3—June 1999

Volume 5, Number 3—June 1999   PDF Version [PDF - 4.58 MB - 180 pages]


  • International Editors:Bacterial Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents: Selected Problems in France, 1996 to 1998 PDF Version [PDF - 78 KB - 6 pages]
    H. Aubry-Damon and P. Courvalin
  • The Cost Effectiveness of Vaccinating against Lyme Disease PDF Version [PDF - 110 KB - 8 pages]
    M. I. Meltzer et al.
        View Abstract

    To determine the cost effectiveness of vaccinating against Lyme disease, we used a decision tree to examine the impact on society of six key components. The main measure of outcome was the cost per case averted. Assuming a 0.80 probability of diagnosing and treating early Lyme disease, a 0.005 probability of contracting Lyme disease, and a vaccination cost of $50 per year, the mean cost of vaccination per case averted was $4,466. When we increased the probability of contracting Lyme disease to 0.03 and the cost of vaccination to $100 per year, the mean net savings per case averted was $3,377. Since few communities have average annual incidences of Lyme disease >0.005, economic benefits will be greatest when vaccination is used on the basis of individual risk, specifically, in persons whose probability of contracting Lyme disease is >0.01.

  • Use of Antimicrobial Growth Promoters in Food Animals and Enterococcus faecium Resistance to Therapeutic Antimicrobial Drugs in Europe PDF Version [PDF - 85 KB - 7 pages]
    H. C. Wegener et al.
        View Abstract

    Supplementing animal feed with antimicrobial agents to enhance growth has been common practice for more than 30 years and is estimated to constitute more than half the total antimicrobial use worldwide. The potential public health consequences of this use have been debated; however, until recently, clear evidence of a health risk was not available. Accumulating evidence now indicates that the use of the glycopeptide avoparcin as a growth promoter has created in food animals a major reservoir of Enterococcus faecium, which contains the high level glycopeptide resistance determinant vanA, located on the Tn1546 transposon. Furthermore, glycopeptide-resistant strains, as well as resistance determinants, can be transmitted from animals to humans. Two antimicrobial classes expected to provide the future therapeutic options for treatment of infections with vancomycin-resistant enterococci have analogues among the growth promoters, and a huge animal reservoir of resistant E. faecium has already been created, posing a new public health problem.

  • Bacterial Vaccines and Serotype Replacement: Lessons from Haemophilus influenzae and Prospects for Streptococcus pneumoniae PDF Version [PDF - 199 KB - 10 pages]
    M. Lipsitch
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    Conjugate vaccines have reduced the incidence of invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae, type b (Hib), in industrialized countries and may be highly effective against Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, the serotype specificity of these vaccines has led to concern that their use may increase carriage of and disease from serotypes not included in the vaccine. Replacement has not occurred with the use of Hib vaccines but has occurred in trials of pneumococcal vaccines. Mathematical models can be used to elucidate these contrasting outcomes, predict the conditions under which serotype replacement is likely, interpret the results of conjugate vaccine trials, design trials that will better detect serotype replacement (if it occurs), and suggest factors to consider in choosing the serotype composition of vaccines.

  • Iron Loading and Disease Surveillance PDF Version [PDF - 68 KB - 7 pages]
    E. D. Weinberg
        View Abstract

    Iron is an oxidant as well as a nutrient for invading microbial and neoplastic cells. Excessive iron in specific tissues and cells (iron loading) promotes development of infection, neoplasia, cardiomyopathy, arthropathy, and various endocrine and possibly neurodegenerative disorders. To contain and detoxify the metal, hosts have evolved an iron withholding defense system, but the system can be compromised by numerous factors. An array of behavioral, medical, and immunologic methods are in place or in development to strengthen iron withholding. Routine screening for iron loading could provide valuable information in epidemiologic, diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic studies of emerging infectious diseases.


  • Human Herpesvirus 6: An Emerging Pathogen PDF Version [PDF - 527 KB - 14 pages]
    G. Campadelli-Fiume et al.
        View Abstract

    Infections with human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), a ß-herpesvirus of which two variant groups (A and B) are recognized, is very common, approaching 100% in seroprevalence. Primary infection with HHV-6B causes roseola infantum or exanthem subitum, a common childhood disease that resolves spontaneously. After primary infection, the virus replicates in the salivary glands and is shed in saliva, the recognized route of transmission for variant B strains; it remains latent in lymphocytes and monocytes and persists at low levels in cells and tissues. Not usually associated with disease in the immunocompetent, HHV-6 infection is a major cause of opportunistic viral infections in the immunosuppressed, typically AIDS patients and transplant recipients, in whom HHV-6 infection/reactivation may culminate in rejection of transplanted organs and death. Other opportunistic viruses, human cytomegalovirus and HHV-7, also infect or reactivate in persons at risk. Another disease whose pathogenesis may be correlated with HHV-6 is multiple sclerosis. Data in favor of and against the correlation are discussed.

  • Emergence of a Unique Group of Necrotizing Mycobacterial Diseases PDF Version [PDF - 617 KB - 12 pages]
    K. M. Dobos et al.
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    Although most diseases due to pathogenic mycobacteria are caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, several other mycobacterial diseases—caused by M. ulcerans (Buruli ulcer), M. marinum, and M. haemophilum—have begun to emerge. We review the emergence of diseases caused by these three pathogens in the United States and around the world in the last decade. We examine the pathophysiologic similarities of the diseases (all three cause necrotizing skin lesions) and common reservoirs of infection (stagnant or slow-flowing water). Examination of the histologic and pathogenic characteristics of these mycobacteria suggests differences in the modes of transmission and pathogenesis, though no singular mechanism for either characteristic has been definitively described for any of these mycobacteria.

  • Respiratory Diseases among U.S. Military Personnel: Countering Emerging Threats PDF Version [PDF - 412 KB - 9 pages]
    G. C. Gray et al.
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    Emerging respiratory disease agents, increased antibiotic resistance, and the loss of effective vaccines threaten to increase the incidence of respiratory disease in military personnel. We examine six respiratory pathogens (adenoviruses, influenza viruses, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Bordetella pertussis) and review the impact of the diseases they cause, past efforts to control these diseases in U.S. military personnel, as well as current treatment and surveillance strategies, limitations in diagnostic testing, and vaccine needs.

  • Q Fever in Bulgaria and Slovakia PDF Version [PDF - 84 KB - 7 pages]
    V. Serbezov et al.
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    As a result of dramatic political and economic changes in the beginning of the 1990s, Q-fever epidemiology in Bulgaria has changed. The number of goats almost tripled; contact between goat owners (and their families) and goats, as well as goats and other animals, increased; consumption of raw goat milk and its products increased; and goats replaced cattle and sheep as the main source of human Coxiella burnetii infections. Hundreds of overt, serologically confirmed human cases of acute Q fever have occurred. Chronic forms of Q fever manifesting as endocarditis were also observed. In contrast, in Slovakia, Q fever does not pose a serious public health problem, and the chronic form of infection has not been found either in follow-ups of a Q-fever epidemic connected with goats imported from Bulgaria and other previous Q-fever outbreaks or in a serologic survey. Serologic diagnosis as well as control and prevention of Q fever are discussed.

  • Adhesins as Targets for Vaccine Development PDF Version [PDF - 189 KB - 9 pages]
    T. M. Wizemann et al.
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    Blocking the primary stages of infection, namely bacterial attachment to host cell receptors and colonization of the mucosal surface, may be the most effective strategy to prevent bacterial infections. Bacterial attachment usually involves an interaction between a bacterial surface protein called an adhesin and the host cell receptor. Recent preclinical vaccine studies with the FimH adhesin (derived from uropathogenic Escherichia coli) have confirmed that antibodies elicited against an adhesin can impede colonization, block infection, and prevent disease. The studies indicate that prophylactic vaccination with adhesins can block bacterial infections. With recent advances in the identification, characterization, and isolation of other adhesins, similar approaches are being explored to prevent infections, from otitis media and dental caries to pneumonia and sepsis.


  • Tuberculosis in the Caribbean: Using Spacer Oligonucleotide Typing to Understand Strain Origin and Transmission PDF Version [PDF - 408 KB - 11 pages]
    C. Sola et al.
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    We used direct repeat (DR)-based spacer oligonucleotide typing (spoligotyping) (in association with double-repetitive element–polymerase chain reaction, IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism [RFLP], and sometimes DR-RFLP and polymorphic GC-rich sequence-RFLP) to detect epidemiologic links and transmission patterns of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana. In more than a third of the 218 strains we typed from this region, clusters and isolates shared genetic identity, which suggests epidemiologic links. However, because of limited epidemiologic information, only 14.2% of the strains could be directly linked. When spoligotyping patterns shared by two or more isolates were pooled with 392 spoligotypes from other parts of the world, new matches were detected, which suggests imported transmission. Persisting foci of endemic disease and increased active transmission due to high population flux and HIV-coinfection may be linked to the recent reemergence of tuberculosis in the Caribbean. We also found that several distinct families of spoligotypes are overrepresented in this region.

  • Human Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis during a Raccoon Rabies Epizootic in New York, 1993 and 1994 PDF Version [PDF - 359 KB - 8 pages]
    J. D. Wyatt et al.
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    We describe the epidemiology of human rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in four upstate New York counties during the 1st and 2nd year of a raccoon rabies epizootic. We obtained data from records of 1,173 persons whose rabies PEP was reported to local health departments in 1993 and 1994. Mean annual PEP incidence rates were highest in rural counties, in summer, and in patients 10 to 14 and 35 to 44 years of age. PEP given after bites was primarily associated with unvaccinated dogs and cats, but most (70%) was not attributable to bites. Although pet vaccination and stray animal control, which target direct exposure, remain the cornerstones of human rabies prevention, the risk for rabies by the nonbite route (e.g., raccoon saliva on pet dogs' and cats' fur) should also be considered.



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