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Volume 9, Number 1—January 2003

Volume 9, Number 1—January 2003   PDF Version [PDF - 17.14 MB - 156 pages]


  • Maintaining Fluoroquinolone Class Efficacy: Review of Influencing Factors PDF Version [PDF - 224 KB - 9 pages]
    W. M. Scheld
       View Abstract

    Previous experience with antimicrobial resistance has emphasized the importance of appropriate stewardship of these pharmacotherapeutic agents. The introduction of fluoroquinolones provided potent new drugs directed primarily against gram-negative pathogens, while the newer members of this class demonstrate more activity against gram-positive species, including Streptococcus pneumoniae. Although these agents are clinically effective against a broad range of infectious agents, emergence of resistance and associated clinical failures have prompted reexamination of their use. Appropriate use revolves around two key objectives: 1) only prescribing antimicrobial therapy when it is beneficial and 2) using the agents(s) with optimal activity against the expected pathogens(s). Pharmacodynamic principles and properties can be applied to achieve the latter objective when prescribing agents belonging to the fluoroquinolone class. A focused approach emphasizing “correct-spectrum” coverage may reduce development of antimicrobial resistance and maintain class efficacy.

  • Dead Bugs Don’t Mutate: Susceptibility Issues in the Emergence of Bacterial Resistance PDF Version [PDF - 221 KB - 7 pages]
    C. W. Stratton
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    The global emergence of antibacterial resistance among common and atypical respiratory pathogens in the last decade necessitates the strategic application of antibacterial agents. The use of bactericidal rather than bacteriostatic agents as first-line therapy is recommended because the eradication of microorganisms serves to curtail, although not avoid, the development of bacterial resistance. Bactericidal activity is achieved with specific classes of antimicrobial agents as well as by combination therapy. Newer classes of antibacterial agents, such as the fluoroquinolones and certain members of the macrolide/lincosamine/streptogramin class have increased bactericidal activity compared with traditional agents. More recently, the ketolides (novel, semisynthetic, erythromycin-A derivatives) have demonstrated potent bactericidal activity against key respiratory pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. Moreover, the ketolides are associated with a low potential for inducing resistance, making them promising first-line agents for respiratory tract infections.

  • Geographic Translocation of Bats: Known and Potential Problems PDF Version [PDF - 210 KB - 5 pages]
    D. G. Constantine
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    Natural, accidental, and intentional translocation of bats, both intra- and intercontinentally, has been documented. Some bats have been translocated while incubating infectious diseases, including rabies or related lyssavirus infections; others have escaped confinement en route to or at their destinations, while others have been released deliberately. Known events and potential consequences of bat translocation are reviewed, including a proposed solution to the attendant problems.


  • Foot and Mouth Disease in Livestock and Reduced Cryptosporidiosis in Humans, England and Wales PDF Version [PDF - 321 KB - 7 pages]
    W. J. Smerdon et al.
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    During the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in livestock in England and Wales, we discovered a corresponding decrease in laboratory reports of cryptosporidiosis in humans. Using a regression model of laboratory reports of cryptosporidiosis, we found an estimated 35% (95% confidence interval [CI] 20% to 47%) reduction in reports during the weeks spanning the period from the first and last cases of FMD. The largest reduction occurred in northwest England, where the estimated decrease was 63% (95% CI 31% to 80%). Genotyping a subgroup of human isolates suggested that the proportion of Cryptosporidium genotype 2 strain (animal and human) was lower during the weeks of the FMD epidemic in 2001 compared with the same weeks in 2000. Our observations are consistent with livestock making a substantial contribution to Cryptosporidium infection in humans in England and Wales; our findings have implications for agriculture, visitors to rural areas, water companies, and regulators.

  • Congenital Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Argentina PDF Version [PDF - 277 KB - 4 pages]
    R. E. Gürtler et al.
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    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, infects 10–18 million people and may be transmitted to the newborn. Using various data sources, we estimated that nearly 850 congenital cases occurred in Argentina in 1993, or 6.3 expected cases per each reported case in 1994 and in 1994–2001. The congenital transmission of T. cruzi constitutes a sizeable public health problem in the region.

  • A Molecular Surveillance System for Global Patterns of Drug Resistance in Imported Malaria PDF Version [PDF - 221 KB - 4 pages]
    A. Labbé et al.
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    Analysis of imported malaria in travelers may represent a novel surveillance system for drug-resistant malaria. We analyzed consecutive falciparum malaria isolates from Canadian travelers from 1994 to 2000, for polymorphisms in pfcrt, dhfr, and dhps linked to chloroquine and pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine resistance. Forty percent of isolates possessed the K76 pfcrt allele, suggesting that many imported falciparum infections are still responsive to chloroquine. Travelers who had recently taken chloroquine had a significantly increased risk of harboring isolates with pfcrt resistance alleles (odds ratio = 4.47; p=0.03). The presence of two or more mutations in dhfr or dhps was found in 64.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 54.6 to 73.9) and in 30.4% (95% CI 21.7 to 40.3) of isolates, respectively, and increased significantly over the course of the study. These molecular markers indicate that pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine resistance is increasing and is now too high to rely on this drug as a routine therapeutic agent to treat malaria in travelers.

  • Texas Lifestyle Limits Transmission of Dengue Virus PDF Version [PDF - 370 KB - 4 pages]
    P. Reiter et al.
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    Urban dengue is common in most countries of the Americas, but has been rare in the United States for more than half a century. In 1999 we investigated an outbreak of the disease that affected Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Laredo, Texas, United States, contiguous cities that straddle the international border. The incidence of recent cases, indicated by immunoglobulin M antibody serosurvey, was higher in Nuevo Laredo, although the vector, Aedes aegypti, was more abundant in Laredo. Environmental factors that affect contact with mosquitoes, such as air-conditioning and human behavior, appear to account for this paradox. We conclude that the low prevalence of dengue in the United States is primarily due to economic, rather than climatic, factors.

  • Cost Effectiveness of a Potential Vaccine for Human papillomavirus PDF Version [PDF - 389 KB - 12 pages]
    G. D. Sanders and A. V. Taira
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    Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, usually a sexually transmitted disease, is a risk factor for cervical cancer. Given the substantial disease and death associated with HPV and cervical cancer, development of a prophylactic HPV vaccine is a public health priority. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating adolescent girls for high-risk HPV infections relative to current practice. A vaccine with a 75% probability of immunity against high-risk HPV infection resulted in a life-expectancy gain of 2.8 days or 4.0 quality-adjusted life days at a cost of $246 relative to current practice (incremental cost effectiveness of $22,755/quality-adjusted life year [QALY]). If all 12-year-old girls currently living in the United States were vaccinated, >1,300 deaths from cervical cancer would be averted during their lifetimes. Vaccination of girls against high-risk HPV is relatively cost effective even when vaccine efficacy is low. If the vaccine efficacy rate is 35%, the cost effectiveness increases to $52,398/QALY. Although gains in life expectancy may be modest at the individual level, population benefits are substantial.

  • Natural Enzootic Vectors of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus in the Magdalena Valley, Colombia PDF Version [PDF - 268 KB - 6 pages]
    C. Ferro et al.
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    To characterize the transmission cycle of enzootic Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) strains believed to represent an epizootic progenitor, we identified natural vectors in a sylvatic focus in the middle Magdalena Valley of Colombia. Hamster-baited traps were placed into an active forest focus, and mosquitoes collected from each trap in which a hamster became infected were sorted by species and assayed for virus. In 18 cases, a single, initial, high-titered mosquito pool representing the vector species was identified. These vectors included Culex (Melanoconion) vomerifer (11 transmission events), Cx. (Mel.) pedroi (5 transmissions) and Cx. (Mel.) adamesi (2 transmissions). These results extend the number of proven enzootic VEEV vectors to 7, all of which are members of the Spissipes section of the subgenus Melanoconion. Our findings contrast with previous studies, which have indicated that a single species usually serves as the principal enzootic VEEV vector at a given location.

  • Highly Endemic, Waterborne Toxoplasmosis in North Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil PDF Version [PDF - 255 KB - 8 pages]
    L. M. Bahia-Oliveira et al.
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    In Campos dos Goytacazes, northern Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, reports of uveitis consistent with toxoplasmosis led to a survey of the prevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in 1997–1999. The survey population was selected randomly from schools, randomly chosen communities, and an army battalion. Serum samples from 1,436 persons were tested. With results adjusted for age, 84% of the population in the lower socioeconomic group was seropositive, compared with 62% and 23% of the middle and upper socioeconomic groups, respectively (p<0.001). When multivariate analysis was performed, drinking unfiltered water was found to increase the risk of seropositivity for the lower socioeconomic (odds ratio [OR]: 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3 to 6.9) and middle socioeconomic (OR: 1.7, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.3) populations. We also found a high T. gondii seroprevalence in this Brazilian community. Drinking unfiltered water increased the risk of T. gondii seropositivity, indicating the potential importance of oocyst transmission in water in this region.

  • Seasonal Dynamics of Anaplasma phagocytophila in a Rodent-Tick (Ixodes trianguliceps) System, United Kingdom PDF Version [PDF - 988 KB - 8 pages]
    K. J. Bown et al.
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    We investigated the reservoir role of European wild rodents for Anaplasma phagocytophila using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of blood collected from individually tagged rodents captured monthly over 2 years. The only tick species observed in the woodland study site was Ixodes trianguliceps, and ruminant reservoir hosts were not known to occur. A. phagocytophila infections were detected in both bank voles and wood mice but were restricted to periods of peak nymphal and adult tick activity. Most PCR-positive rodents were positive only once, suggesting that rodent infections are generally short-lived and that ticks rather than rodents may maintain the infection over winter. Bank voles were more likely to be PCR positive than wood mice, possibly because detectable infections are longer lived in bank voles. This study confirms that woodland rodents can maintain A. phagocytophila in Great Britain in the absence of other reservoir hosts and suggests that I. trianguliceps is a competent vector.

  • Two Epidemiologic Patterns of Norovirus Outbreaks: Surveillance in England and Wales, 1992–2000 PDF Version [PDF - 938 KB - 7 pages]
    B. Lopman et al.
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    In the period 1992–2000, the Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre collected standardized epidemiologic data on 1,877 general outbreaks of Norovirus (formerly “Norwalk-like virus”) infection in England and Wales. Seventy-nine percent of general outbreaks occurred in health-care institutions, i.e., hospitals (40%) and residential-care facilities (39%). When compared with outbreaks in other settings, those in health-care institutions were unique in exhibiting a winter peak (p<0.0001); these outbreaks were also associated with significantly higher death rates and prolonged duration but were smaller in size and less likely to be foodborne. These data suggest that Norovirus infection has considerable impact on the health service and the vulnerable populations residing in institutions such as hospitals and residential homes. A distinct outbreak pattern in health-care institutions suggests a combination of host, virologic, and environmental factors that mediate these divergent epidemiologic patterns.

  • Viral Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Europe, 1995–2000 PDF Version [PDF - 412 KB - 7 pages]
    B. Lopman et al.
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    To gain understanding of surveillance and epidemiology of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks in Europe, we compiled data from 10 surveillance systems in the Foodborne Viruses in Europe network. Established surveillance systems found Norovirus to be responsible for >85% (N=3,714) of all nonbacterial outbreaks of gastroenteritis reported from 1995 to 2000. However, the absolute number and population-based rates of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks differed markedly among European surveillance systems. A wide range of estimates of the importance of foodborne transmission were also found. We review these differences within the context of the sources of outbreak surveillance information, clinical definitions, and structures of the outbreak surveillance systems.

  • The U.S.-Mexico Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project: Establishing Binational Border Surveillance PDF Version [PDF - 318 KB - 6 pages]
    M. Weinberg et al.
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    In 1997, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mexican Secretariat of Health, and border health officials began the development of the Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS) project, a surveillance system for infectious diseases along the U.S.-Mexico border. During a 3-year period, a binational team implemented an active, sentinel surveillance system for hepatitis and febrile exanthems at 13 clinical sites. The network developed surveillance protocols, trained nine surveillance coordinators, established serologic testing at four Mexican border laboratories, and created agreements for data sharing and notification of selected diseases and outbreaks. BIDS facilitated investigations of dengue fever in Texas-Tamaulipas and measles in California–Baja California. BIDS demonstrates that a binational effort with local, state, and federal participation can create a regional surveillance system that crosses an international border. Reducing administrative, infrastructure, and political barriers to cross-border public health collaboration will enhance the effectiveness of disease prevention projects such as BIDS.

  • Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli Infections Associated with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, Italy, 1988–2000 PDF Version [PDF - 240 KB - 3 pages]
    A. E. Tozzi et al.
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    The mean annual incidence of hemolytic uremic syndrome in persons <15 years of age in Italy from 1988 to 2000 was 0.28 per 100,000 population. Laboratory investigations showed that Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection occurred in 73.1% of patients. STEC O157 was the most common serotype, but a considerable number of cases were from infections by non-O157 STEC.

  • Epidemic Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Caused by Human Enterovirus 71, Singapore PDF Version [PDF - 1.21 MB - 8 pages]
    K. P. Chan et al.
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    Singapore experienced a large epidemic of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in 2000. After reviewing HFMD notifications from doctors and child-care centers, we found that the incidence of HFMD rose in September and declined at the end of October. During this period, 3,790 cases were reported. We performed enteroviral cultures on 311 and 157 specimens from 175 HFMD patients and 107 non-HFMD patients, respectively; human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) was the most frequently isolated virus from both groups. Most of the HFMD patients were <4 years of age. Three HFMD and two non-HFMD patients died. Specimens from two HFMD and both non-HFMD patients were culture positive for HEV71; a third patient was possibly associated with the virus. Autopsies performed on all three HFMD and one of the non-HFMD case-patients showed encephalitis, interstitial pneumonitis, and myocarditis. A preparedness plan for severe HFMD outbreaks provided for the prompt, coordinated actions needed to control the epidemic.



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