To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
H9N2 is the most widespread avian influenza virus subtype in poultry worldwide. It infects a broad spectrum of host species including birds and mammals. Infections in poultry and humans vary from silent to fatal. Importantly, all AIV, which are fatal in humans (e.g. H5N1, H7N9) acquired their ‘internal’ gene segments from H9N2 viruses. Although H9N2 is endemic in the Middle East (ME) and North Africa since the late 1990s, little is known about its epidemiology and genetics on a regional level. In this review, we summarised the epidemiological situation of H9N2 in poultry and mammals in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The virus has been isolated from humans in Egypt and serosurveys indicated widespread infection particularly among poultry workers and pigs in some countries. Some isolates replicated well in experimentally inoculated dogs, mice, hamsters and ferrets. Insufficient protection of immunised poultry was frequently reported most likely due to concurrent viral or bacterial infections and antigenic drift of the field viruses from outdated vaccine strains. Genetic analysis indicated several distinct phylogroups including a panzootic genotype in the Asian and African parts of the ME, which may be useful for the development of vaccines. The extensive circulation of H9N2 for about 20 years in this region where the H5N1 virus is also endemic in some countries, poses a serious public health threat. Regional surveillance and control strategy are highly recommended.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
In the post-pandemic period, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus has been detected in swine populations in different parts of the world. This study was conducted to determine the presence and spatial patterns of this human pandemic virus among Nigerian pigs and identify associated risk factors. Using a two-stage stratified random sampling method, nasal swab specimens were obtained from pigs in Ibadan, Nigeria during the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 influenza seasons, and the virus was detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Purified RT-PCR products were sequenced in both directions, and sequences were aligned using MUSCLE. Phylogenetic analysis was conducted in MEGA6. Purely spatial scan statistics and a spatial lag regression model were used to identify spatial clusters and associated risk factors. The virus was detected in both seasons, with an overall prevalence of 8·7%. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the M genes were similar to those of pandemic strains which circulated in humans prior to and during the study. Cluster analysis revealed a significant primary spatial cluster (RR = 4·71, LLR = 5·66, P = 0·0046), while ‘hours spent with pigs (R2 = 0·90, P = 0·0018)’ and ‘hours spent with pigs from different farms (R2 = 0·91, P = 0·0001)’ were identified as significant risk factors (P < 0·05). These findings reveal that there is considerable risk of transmission of the pandemic virus, either directly from pig handlers or through fomites, to swine herds in Ibadan, Nigeria. Active circulation of the virus among Nigerian pigs could enhance its reassortment with endemic swine influenza viruses. Campaigns for adoption of biosecurity measures in West African piggeries and abattoirs should be introduced and sustained in order to prevent the emergence of a new influenza epicentre in the sub-region.
Measles is a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in many parts of the world. Estimates of the case-fatality rate (CFR) of measles have varied widely from place to place, as well as in the same location over time. Amongst populations that have experienced famine or armed conflict, measles CFR can be especially high, although past work has mostly focused on refugee populations. Here, we estimate measles CFR between 1970 and 1991 in a rural region of Bangladesh, which experienced civil war and famine in the 1970s. We use historical measles mortality data and a mechanistic model of measles transmission to estimate the CFR of measles. We first demonstrate the ability of this model to recover the CFR in the absence of incidence data, using simulated mortality data. Our method produces CFR estimates that correspond closely to independent estimates from surveillance data and we can capture both the magnitude and the change in CFR suggested by these previous estimates. We use this method to quantify the sharp increase in CFR that resulted in a large number of deaths during a measles outbreak in the region in 1976. Most of the children who died during this outbreak were born during a famine in 1974, or in the 2 years preceding the famine. Our results suggest that the period of turmoil during and after the 1971 war and the sustained effects of the famine, is likely to have contributed to the high fatality burden of the 1976 measles outbreak in Matlab.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have an increased incidence of pathogens transmitted by the oro-fecal route. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging cause of acute hepatitis and fecal shedding is observed during primary infection. We investigated whether MSM are at increased risk of HEV infection. Subjects who attended a sexually transmitted infection clinic in Brussels and had an HIV test performed between 1 June 2014 and 15 January 2016 were identified. A total of 576 samples were retrospectively screened for both total HEV IgG and HEV RNA. Samples positive for IgG were tested for IgM. MSM proportion was 31·1% (179/576). Overall HEV IgG prevalence was 9·03% (52/576) and was identical in MSM and heterosexual subjects. Among the IgG positive samples, 2/52 (3·84%) samples (both women) were positive for anti-HEV IgM. No sample was positive for HEV RNA. Age over 35 was the only risk factor significantly associated with HEV seropositivity (OR 2·07; 95% CI 1·16–3·67). In conclusion, MSM were not found to have an increased prevalence of HEV as previously reported in other European countries suggesting distinct dynamics of HEV infection in this group across Europe and increased age was associated with a higher risk of seropositivity.
We determined the hepatitis E virus (HEV) seroprevalence and detection rate in commercial swine herds in Italy's utmost pig-rich area, and assessed HEV seropositivity risk in humans as a function of occupational exposure to pigs, diet, foreign travel, medical history and hunting activities. During 2011–2014, 2700 sera from 300 swine herds were tested for anti-HEV IgG. HEV RNA was searched in 959 faecal pools from HEV-seropositive herds and in liver/bile/muscle samples from 179 pigs from HEV-positive herds. A cohort study of HEV seropositivity in swine workers (n = 149) was also performed using two comparison groups of people unexposed to swine: omnivores (n = 121) and vegetarians/vegans (n = 115). Herd-level seroprevalence was 75·6% and was highest in farrow-to-feeder herds (81·6%). Twenty-six out of 105 (24·8%) herds had HEV-positive faecal samples (25 HEV-3, one HEV-4). Only one bile sample tested positive. HEV seropositivity was 12·3% in swine workers, 0·9% in omnivores and 3·0% in vegetarians/vegans. Factors significantly associated with HEV seropositivity were occupational exposure to pigs, travel to Africa and increased swine workers’ age. We concluded that HEV is widespread in Italian swine herds and HEV-4 circulation is alarming given its pathogenicity, with those occupationally exposed to pigs being at increased risk of HEV seropositivity.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a highly prevalent herpesvirus linked to infectious mononucleosis and several malignancies. This paper aims to study the association between children's early life social environment at 9 months and EBV infection at 3 years of age.
We used data on children included in the UK Millennium Cohort Study. We described the social environment using area-level and material factors as well as socioeconomic position (SEP) at 9 months. EBV was measured at 3 years of age (n = 12 457).
Lower rates of EBV infection were observed in children living in towns and rural areas compared with those living in cities. Lower SEP and overcrowding in the household increased the odds of being infected. Children whose parents were social tenants were more likely to be infected than homeowners. In the overall model, the strength of the association between material factors and EBV infection weakened.
We showed that early life material deprivation was associated with a higher risk of EBV infection among 3-year-olds. Children living in more deprived social conditions may be more likely to become EBV carriers at an earlier age.
Enteric pathogens are commonly known to be transmitted through food or water; however, contact with animals is another important transmission route. This study estimated the annual burden of illness attributable to animal contact for eight enteric pathogens in Canada. Using data from a Canadian expert elicitation on transmission routes, the proportion of enteric illnesses attributable to animal contact was estimated for each pathogen to estimate the annual number of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in Canada. For each estimate, a mean and probability intervals were generated. Of all illnesses caused by these eight pathogens, 16% were estimated attributable to animal contact. This estimate translates to 86 000 (31 000–166 000) illnesses, 488 (186–890) hospitalizations and 12 (2–28) deaths annually for the eight pathogens combined. Campylobacter spp. is the leading cause of illnesses annually, with an estimated 38 000 (14 000–71 000) illnesses occurring each year, followed by non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. (17 000, 6000–32 000). The majority of hospitalizations were attributable to non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. (36%) and Campylobacter spp. (31%). Non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. (28%) and Listeria monocytogenes (31%) were responsible for the majority of the estimated deaths. These results identify farm animal and pet/pet food exposure as key pathways of transmission for several pathogens. The estimated burden of illness associated with animal contact is substantial.
Anaplasmataceae agents comprise obligate intracellular bacteria that can cause disease in humans and animals. Between August 2013 and March 2015, 31 Nasua nasua (coati), 78 Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), seven Leopardus pardalis (ocelot), 110 wild rodents, 30 marsupials, and 42 dogs were sampled in the Pantanal wetland, Brazil. In addition, ectoparasites found parasitizing the animals were collected and identified. The present work aimed to investigate the occurrence of Anaplasmataceae agents in wild mammals, domestic dogs and ectoparasites, by molecular and serological techniques. Overall, 14 (17·9%) C. thous, seven (16·6%) dogs and one (3·2%) N. nasua were seroreactive to Ehrlichia canis. Nine dogs, two C. thous, one N. nasua, eight wild rodents, five marsupials, eight Amblyomma sculptum, four Amblyomma parvum, 13 A. sculptum nymphal pools, two Amblyomma larvae pools and one Polygenis (Polygenis) bohlsi bohlsi flea pool were positive for Ehrlichia spp. closely related to E. canis. Seven N. nasua, two dogs, one C. thous, one L. pardalis, four wild rodents, three marsupials, 15 A. sculptum, two Amblyomma ovale, two A. parvum and one Amblyomma spp. larval pools were positive for Anaplasma spp. closely related to A. phagocytophilum or A. bovis. The present study provided evidence that wild animals from Brazilian Pantanal are exposed to Anaplasmataceae agents.
Infectious diseases frequently have multiple potential routes of intraspecific transmission of pathogens within wildlife and other populations. For pathogens causing zoonotic diseases, knowing whether these transmission routes occur in the wild and their relative importance, is critical for understanding maintenance, improving control measures and ultimately preventing human disease. The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is the primary reservoir of leptospirosis in the urban slums of Salvador, Brazil. There is biological evidence for potentially three different transmission routes of leptospire infection occurring in the rodent population. Using newly obtained prevalence data from rodents trapped at an urban slum field site, we present changes in cumulative risk of infection in relation to age-dependent transmission routes to infer which intra-specific transmission routes occur in the wild. We found that a significant proportion of animals leave the nest with infection and that the risk of infection increases throughout the lifetime of Norway rats. We did not observe a significant effect of sexual maturity on the risk of infection. In conclusion, our results suggest that vertical and environmental transmission of leptospirosis both occur in wild populations of Norway rats.
Tularemia caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic disease. Tularemia is a common disease in the hare, and as a game species can be an important source of infection for humans. In this study, hares diagnosed with tularemia were examined with the aim to investigate whether the muscle (meat) had any pathological changes and/or contained F. tularensis. Real-time PCR and/or immunohistochemistry (IHC) detected the bacteria in muscle samples from 40 out of 43 investigated hares. IHC showed that bacteria were few and most commonly located in the peri- and endomysium. Histopathology showed occasional perimysial necroses and mild inflammation in association to the bacteria. Attempts to culture from 14 muscle samples were successful in two cases, both stored in the freezer <1 year. The result of this study shows that since F. tularensis is present in the muscle of infected hares, there is a risk for human infection when consuming undercooked hare meat. The risk is enhanced by the fact that some hares do not have easily detected gross lesions. The study contributes to a better understanding of sources of infection and risk factors for humans to contract tularemia.
An unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus diseases (EVD) occurred in West Africa from March 2014 to January 2016. The French Institute for Public Health implemented strengthened surveillance to early identify any imported case and avoid secondary cases.
Febrile travellers returning from an affected country had to report to the national emergency healthcare hotline. Patients reporting at-risk exposures and fever during the 21st following day from the last at-risk exposure were defined as possible cases, hospitalised in isolation and tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Asymptomatic travellers reporting at-risk exposures were considered as contact and included in a follow-up protocol until the 21st day after the last at-risk exposure.
From March 2014 to January 2016, 1087 patients were notified: 1053 were immediately excluded because they did not match the notification criteria or did not have at-risk exposures; 34 possible cases were tested and excluded following a reliable negative result. Two confirmed cases diagnosed in West Africa were evacuated to France under stringent isolation conditions. Patients returning from Guinea (n = 531; 49%) and Mali (n = 113; 10%) accounted for the highest number of notifications.
No imported case of EVD was detected in France. We are confident that our surveillance system was able to classify patients properly during the outbreak period.
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-cell NHL) is the second commonest malignancy in the stomach. We determined the distribution of Helicobacter pylori outer membrane protein Q (HopQ) allelic type, cytotoxin-associated gene (cag)-pathogenicity activity island (cag-PAI) and vacuolation activating cytotoxin A (vacA) genes, respectively, in patients with B-cell NHL. We also compared them with their distribution in non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD). H. pylori was cultured from gastric biopsy tissue obtained at endoscopy. Polymerase chain reaction was performed. Of 170 patients enrolled, 114 (63%) had NUD and 56 (37%) had B-cell NHL. HopQ type 1 was positive in 66 (58%) in NUD compared with 46 (82%) (P = 0·002) in B-cell NHL; HopQ type 2 was positive in 93 (82%) with NUD compared with 56 (100%) (P < 0·001) in B-cell NHL. Multiple HopQ types were present in 46 (40%) in NUD compared with 46 (82%) (P < 0·001) in B-cell NHL. CagA was positive in 48 (42%) in NUD vs. 50 (89%) (P < 0·001) in B-cell NHL; cagT was positive in 35 (31%) in NUD vs. 45 (80%) (P < 0·001) in B-cell NHL; left end of the cagA gene (LEC)1 was positive in 23 (20%) in NUD vs. 43 (77%) (P < 0·001) in B-cell NHL. VacAs1am1 positive in B-cell NHL in 48 (86%) (P < 0·001) vs. 50 (44%) in NUD, while s1am2 was positive in 20 (17%) in NUD vs. 46 (82%) (P < 0·001) in B-cell NHL. H. pylori strains with multiple HopQ allelic types, truncated cag-PAI evidenced by expression of cagA, cagT and cag LEC with virulent vacAs1 alleles are associated with B-cell NHL development.
Type D bovine botulism outbreaks associated with poultry litter are increasingly reported in European countries, but the circumstances of exposure to Clostridium botulinum toxins remain unclear. In spring 2015, a large type D/C bovine botulism outbreak affected a farm with dairy and poultry operations. Epidemiological and laboratory investigations strongly suggest that the outbreak was caused by feeding cattle with insufficiently acidified grass silage that was contaminated by type D/C C. botulinum spores. The source of the spores remains unclear, but could have been a stack of poultry litter stored in the grass silage pasture before harvesting. The presence of putrefied poultry carcasses mixed in with the litter is relatively unlikely considering the careful daily removal of poultry carcasses. These findings reinforce the importance of proper ensiling of feed materials and highlight the need for safe disposal of poultry litter, even in the case of good management of poultry deadstock, in order to prevent bovine botulism.
We conducted a hospital-based cross-sectional study among children aged <5 years in Thi-Qar Governorate, south-eastern Iraq, in order to examine the prevalence, risk factors and antimicrobial resistance associated with gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella infection. From 320 diarrhoea cases enrolled between March and August 2016, 33 (10·3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 8·4–12·4) cases were stool culture-positive for non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica. The most commonly identified serovar was Typhimurium (54%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds of Salmonella infection in children from households supplied by pipe water was 4·7 (95% CI 1·6–13·9) times higher compared with those supplied with reverse osmosis treated water. Similarly, children from households with domestic animals were found to have a higher odds (OR 10·5; 95% CI 3·8–28·4) of being Salmonella stool culture-positive. The likelihood of Salmonella infection was higher (OR 3·9; 95% CI 1·0–6·4) among children belonging to caregiver with primary vs. tertiary education levels. Lower odds (OR 0·4; 95% CI 0·1–0·9) of Salmonella infection were associated with children exclusively breast fed as compared with those exclusively bottle fed. Salmonella infection was three times lower (95% CI 0·1–0·7) in children belonging to caregiver who reported always washing hands after cleaning children following defecation, vs. those belonging to caregivers who did not wash hands. The antimicrobial resistance profile by disc diffusion revealed that non-susceptibility to tetracycline (78·8%), azithromycin (66·7%) and ciprofloxacin (57·6%) were the most commonly seen, and 84·9% of Salmonella isolates were classified as multi-drug resistant. This is the first study on prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella infection among children in this setting. This work provides specific epidemiological data which are crucial to understand and combat paediatric diarrhoea in Iraq.
The transmission of tuberculosis (TB) in bars is difficult to study. The objective was to describe a large TB outbreak in a company's bar and other leisure settings. A descriptive study of a TB outbreak was carried out. Contacts were studied in the index case's workplace bar (five circles of contacts) and other recreational areas (social network of three bars in the index case's neighbourhood). Chest X-rays were recommended to contacts with positive tuberculin skin tests (TST) (⩾5 mm). The risk of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) was determined using an adjusted odds ratio. The dose–response relationship was determined using the chi-square test for linear trend. We studied 316 contacts at the index case's workplace and detected five new cases of TB. The prevalence of LTBI was 57·9% (183/316) and was higher in the first circle, 96·0% (24/25), and lower in the fifth, 46·5% (20/43) (P < 0·0001). Among 58 contacts in the three neighbourhood bars, two TB cases were detected and the LTBI prevalence was 51·7% (30/58). Two children of one secondary TB company patient became ill. Bars may be transmission locations for TB and, as they are popular venues for social events, should be considered as potential areas of exposure.
Determination of the proportion of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) breakdowns attributed to a herd purchasing infected animals has not been previously quantified using data from the Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS) database in Northern Ireland. We used a case–control study design to account for the infection process occurring in the disclosing bTB breakdown herds. Cases (N = 6926) were cattle moving to a future confirmed bTB breakdown where they would disclose as a confirmed bTB reactor or a Lesion at Routine Slaughter (LRS). Controls (N = 303 499) were cattle moving to a future confirmed bTB breakdown where they did not become a bTB reactor or LRS. Our study showed that the cattle leaving herds which disclosed bTB within 450 days had an increased odds of becoming a confirmed bTB reactor or LRS compared with the cattle which left herds that remained free for 450 days (odds ratio (OR) = 2·09: 95% CI 1·96–2·22). Of the 12 060 confirmed bTB breakdowns included in our study (2007–2015 inclusive), 31% (95% CI 29·8–31·5) contained a confirmed bTB reactor(s) or LRS(s) at the disclosing test which entered the herd within the previous 450 days. After controlling for the infection process occurring in the disclosing bTB breakdown herd, our study showed that 6·4% (95% CI 5·9–6·8) of bTB breakdowns in Northern Ireland were directly attributable to the movement of infected animals.
This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) treatment default in a priority city for disease control in Brazil. A cohort of TB cases diagnosed from 2008 to 2009 was followed up from patients’ entry into three outpatient sites, in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais (Brazil), until the recording of the outcomes. Drug addiction, alcoholism and treatment site appeared to be independently associated with default. Current users of crack as the hardest drug (odds ratio (OR) 12·25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·04–49·26) were more likely to default than other hard drug users (OR 5·67, 95% CI 1·34–24·03), former users (OR 4·12, 95% CI 1·11–15·20) and those not known to use drugs (reference group). Consumers at high risk of alcoholism (OR 2·94, 95% CI 1·08–7·99) and those treated in an outpatient hospital unit (OR 8·22, 95% CI 2·79–24·21%) also were more likely to default. Our results establish that substance abuse was independently associated with default. National TB programmes might be more likely to achieve their control targets if they include interventions aimed at improving adherence and cure rates, by diagnosing and treating substance abuse concurrently with standard TB therapy.