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1.  Q Fever in French Guiana 
Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is present worldwide. Recent studies have shown that this bacterium is an emerging pathogen in French Guiana and has a high prevalence (24% of community-acquired pneumonia). In this review, we focus on the peculiar epidemiology of Q fever in French Guiana. We place it in the context of the epidemiology of the disease in the surrounding countries of South America. We also review the clinical features of Q fever in this region, which has severe initial presentation but low mortality rates. These characteristics seem to be linked to a unique genotype (genotype 17). Finally, we discuss the issue of the animal reservoir of C. burnetii in French Guiana, which is still unknown. Further studies are necessary to identify this reservoir. Identification of this reservoir will improve the understanding of the Q fever epidemic in French Guiana and will provide new tools to control this public health problem.
PMCID: PMC4183403  PMID: 25092817
3.  Malaria on the Guiana Shield: a review of the situation in French Guiana 
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  2014;109(5):525-533.
In a climate of growing concern that Plasmodium falciparum may be developing a drug resistance to artemisinin derivatives in the Guiana Shield, this review details our current knowledge of malaria and control strategy in one part of the Shield, French Guiana. Local epidemiology, test-treat-track strategy, the state of parasite drug resistance and vector control measures are summarised. Current issues in terms of mobile populations and legislative limitations are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC4156445  PMID: 25184998
malaria; French Guiana; drug resistance; epidemiology; vector control; control strategy
4.  Characterization of Fecal Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase-Producing Escherichia coli in a Remote Community during a Long Time Period 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(10):5060-5066.
Carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing enterobacteria (ESBL-E) has increased in community settings. Little is known about their long-term evolution. French Guiana Amerindians living in a very remote village, already sampled in 2001 and 2006 for ESBL-E fecal carriage, were screened again in October 2010. Sociodemographic data and antibiotic intake data were collected during the previous year. ESBL-E strains collected in 2010 and their plasmid contents were typed. The results were compared to those of the previous campaigns. The prevalence of ESBL-E carriage in 2010 was 5.3%, whereas it was 8.0% and 3.2% in 2006 and 2001, respectively. As previously determined, no individual factor was associated with carriage, including personal antibiotic exposure. However, overall antibiotic use had decreased to a 0.67 treatments/subject/year in 2010 versus 1.09 in 2006 (P < 0.001), which supports the idea that population exposure to antibiotics impacts on ESBL-E community carriage rates. A wide diversity of ESBL Escherichia coli strains belonging to the A0, A1, B1, and D2 phylogroups and producing the CTX-M-1, CTX-M-2, and CTX-M-8 enzymes were isolated. Despite the overall genetic diversity of the strains evaluated by repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) and multilocus sequence typing, two CTX-M-1-producing clones were found to have spread. In contrast, similar ESBL-bearing I1/Iγ plasmids were present in various strains both within and between carriers, suggesting high rates of plasmid transfer. Our results suggest that overall antibiotic exposure affects ESBL-E fecal carriage in the community. ESBL-E spread may be the result of both strain dissemination and the transfer of plasmids in intestinal microbiota.
PMCID: PMC3811437  PMID: 23917313
5.  The burden of Plasmodium vivax relapses in an Amerindian village in French Guiana 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:367.
Malaria is a public health problem in French Guiana. Plasmodium vivax is the most frequent parasite. The objective of this analysis was to estimate the proportion of relapses in the burden of vivax malaria using the statistical rule stating that any case of vivax malaria occurring less than 90 days following a first episode is a relapse.
A total of 622 subjects were followed for 2,9 years with 336 first single episodes of P. vivax malaria, and a total of 1,226 episodes of vivax malaria among which 559 were relapses (45.5%). For 194 patients having had falciparum malaria followed by vivax malaria it was estimated that 19% of the vivax episodes occurred less than 90 days following the falciparum episode and thus were possibly relapses due to the activation of latent hypnozoites. Despite the number of vivax cases and the number of relapses, there were only 28 recorded primaquine prescriptions (3.4% of vivax episodes, 4.5% of subjects).
The present study points out that despite the fact that nearly half of the P. vivax cases, many of which in children, are caused by latent hypnozoites, only a minority of them benefit from primaquine radical cure. The obstacles to this are discussed and suggestions are made to reduce the burden of vivax malaria in Camopi and other remote health centres in French Guiana.
PMCID: PMC4015923  PMID: 24156660
6.  Discriminating Malaria from Dengue Fever in Endemic Areas: Clinical and Biological Criteria, Prognostic Score and Utility of the C-Reactive Protein: A Retrospective Matched-Pair Study in French Guiana 
Dengue and malaria are two major public health concerns in tropical settings. Although the pathogeneses of these two arthropod-borne diseases differ, their clinical and biological presentations are unspecific. During dengue epidemics, several hundred patients with fever and diffuse pain are weekly admitted at the emergency room. It is difficult to discriminate them from patients presenting malaria attacks. Furthermore, it may be impossible to provide a parasitological microscopic examination for all patients. This study aimed to establish a diagnostic algorithm for communities where dengue fever and malaria occur at some frequency in adults.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A sub-study using the control groups of a case-control study in French Guiana – originally designed to compare dengue and malaria co-infected cases to single infected cases – was performed between 2004 and 2010. In brief, 208 patients with malaria matched to 208 patients with dengue fever were compared in the present study. A predictive score of malaria versus dengue was established using .632 bootstrap procedures. Multivariate analysis showed that male gender, age, tachycardia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and CRP>5 mg/l were independently associated with malaria. The predictive score using those variables had an AUC of 0.86 (95%CI: 0.82–0.89), and the CRP was the preponderant predictive factor. The sensitivity and specificity of CRP>5 mg/L to discriminate malaria from dengue were of 0.995 (95%CI: 0.991–1) and 0.35 (95%CI 0.32–0.39), respectively.
The clinical and biological score performed relatively well for discriminating cases of dengue versus malaria. Moreover, using only the CRP level turned to be a useful biomarker to discriminate feverish patients at low risk of malaria in an area where both infections exist. It would avoid more than 33% of unnecessary parasitological examinations with a very low risk of missing a malaria attack.
Author Summary
The authors present a retrospective matched-pair study on dengue and malaria performed in French Guiana. These two infections are major public health concerns in tropical regions, especially in South America and Southeast Asia, where they affect neglected populations which makes them interesting to be published in a journal aiming to publish about neglected tropical diseases. Although the pathogeneses of these two arthropod-borne differ, their clinical and biological presentations are unspecific. During dengue epidemics, hundreds of patients are admitted weekly with diffuse pains and fever at the emergency room. Among them, it is difficult to accurately distinguish malaria attacks, which are far less frequent than dengue fever cases. Moreover, it may be impossible to provide a parasitological microscopic examination for all patients. We believe the results of the present study, based on a sample of n = 416 individual are worthwhile as they support evidence that biological factors can help to discriminate between the two, in areas where they co-exist in endemic areas. A simple prognostic score based on clinical and biological criteria was built, interesting and easy-to-use for physicians in tropical areas.
PMCID: PMC3772026  PMID: 24069477
7.  Unique Clone of Coxiella burnetii Causing Severe Q Fever, French Guiana 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(7):1102-1104.
Acute Q fever is an emergent and severe disease in French Guiana. We obtained 5 Coxiella burnetii isolates from samples of patients from Cayenne and found an epidemic clone circulating in Cayenne. This clone has caused pneumonia and endocarditis and seems to be more virulent than previously described strains.
PMCID: PMC3713989  PMID: 23763958
Coxiella burnetii; bacteria; clone; Q fever; genotyping; multispacer sequence typing; Cayenne; French Guiana
8.  Made in Europe: will artemisinin resistance emerge in French Guiana? 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:152.
Resistance to artemisinin casts a shadow on the fight against malaria. The importance of illegal gold miners and of malaria in isolated regions of French Guiana constitutes a threat that endangers the fight against malaria in the Amazon. The hurdles of French laws and the remoteness of the territory from France make it impossible for the system to adapt to the problem of total inaccessibility of an important part of the malaria problem. Transmission is high in these areas and gold miners self-medicate with erratic regimens of artemisinin combinations, thus creating perfect conditions for the emergence of resistance. What needs to be done is being done, but within the limits of national law, with some results. However, facing the same difficult problem, Suriname shows more flexibility and is doing much better than French Guiana despite having lower resources. Local authorities in French Guiana cannot overrule the laws that block appropriate malaria care from reaching a third of malaria-exposed persons. Thus the health authorities in France should take immediate calibrated legislative and financial measures to avoid a predictable disaster.
PMCID: PMC3649934  PMID: 23641802
9.  Investigation of a Sudden Malaria Outbreak in the Isolated Amazonian Village of Saül, French Guiana, January–April 2009 
Malaria is endemic in French Guiana. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the predominant species responsible and Anopheles darlingi is described as the major vector. In mid-August 2008, an increase in malaria incidence was observed in Saül. A retrospective cohort survey was performed. In vitro susceptibility profiles to antimalarials were determined on P. falciparum isolates. Collections of mosquitoes were organized. The malaria attack rate reached 70.6/100. The risk of malaria increased for people between 40 and 49 years of age, living in a house not subjected to a recent indoor residual insecticide spraying or staying overnight in the surrounding forest. All isolates were susceptible. Anopheles darlingi females and larvae were collected in the village suggesting a local transmission. Our results strongly support a role of illegal mining activities in the emergence of new foci of malaria. Therefore, public health authorities should define policies to fight malaria at a transborder level.
PMCID: PMC3403779  PMID: 22492141
10.  Evolution of Nasal Carriage of Methicillin-Resistant Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci in a Remote Population 
Nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MR-CoNS) is highly prevalent in community subjects, but its dynamic has been little investigated. Nasal swabbing was performed in 2006 and 2008 in 154 Amerindians living isolated in French Guiana. MR-CoNS strains were identified and characterized by non-β-lactam susceptibility testing and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec element (SCCmec) typing, characterizing the associations of ccr and mec gene complex allotypes, and for MR Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE), multilocus variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) was used. The impact of sociodemographic and medical characteristics on the persistence of MR-CoNS carriage was assessed by bivariate analysis. Prevalence of MR-CoNS carriage was 50.6% in 2006 and 46.8% in 2008. The 274 MR-CoNS isolates, including S. epidermidis (n = 89, 62 MLVA patterns), Staphylococcus haemolyticus (n = 78), and Staphylococcus hominis (n = 72), exhibited 41 distinct ccr and mec gene complex associations. Persistent carriage (in 2006 and 2008), intermittent carriage (either in 2006 or 2008), and noncarriage were documented in 25.3, 47.4, and 27.3% of the participants, respectively. Persistent carriage of a given MRSE isolate was rarely observed (n = 8 isolates). Furthermore, no epidemiological factor, including antibiotic exposure, was associated with persistent carriage. The high diversity of MRSE clones and their ccr and mec gene complex associations contrasted with the high carriage rates in this isolated community, which might reflect the occurrence of SCCmec rearrangement and the generation of new MR-CoNS strains.
PMCID: PMC3256065  PMID: 22064532
11.  Is dengue and malaria co-infection more severe than single infections? A retrospective matched-pair study in French Guiana 
Malaria Journal  2012;11:142.
Dengue and malaria are two major arthropod-borne infections in tropical areas, but dual infections were only described for the first time in 2005. Reports of these concomitant infections are scarce and there is no evidence of more severe clinical and biological pictures than single infections.
To compare co-infections to dengue alone and malaria alone, a retrospective matched-pair study was conducted between 2004 and 2010 among patients admitted in the emergency department of Cayenne hospital, French Guiana.
104 dengue and malaria co-infection cases were identified during the study period and 208 individuals were matched in two comparison groups: dengue alone and malaria alone. In bivariate analysis, co-infection clinical picture was more severe than separated infections, in particular using the severe malaria WHO criteria. In multivariate analysis, independent factors associated with co-infection versus dengue were: masculine gender, CRP level > 50 mg/L, thrombocytopaenia < 50 109/L, and low haematocrit <36% and independent factors significantly associated with co-infections versus malaria were red cells transfusion, low haematocrit < 36%, thrombocytopaenia < 50 109/L and low Plasmodium parasitic load < 0.001%.
In the present study, dengue and malaria co-infection clinical picture seems to be more severe than single infections in French Guiana, with a greater risk of deep thrombocytopaenia and anaemia.
PMCID: PMC3403992  PMID: 22549018
Dengue; Malaria; French Guiana; Thrombocytopaenia; Case–control studies
12.  First Human Rabies Case in French Guiana, 2008: Epidemiological Investigation and Control 
Until 2008, human rabies had never been reported in French Guiana. On 28 May 2008, the French National Reference Center for Rabies (Institut Pasteur, Paris) confirmed the rabies diagnosis, based on hemi-nested polymerase chain reaction on skin biopsy and saliva specimens from a Guianan, who had never travelled overseas and died in Cayenne after presenting clinically typical meningoencephalitis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Molecular typing of the virus identified a Lyssavirus (Rabies virus species), closely related to those circulating in hematophagous bats (mainly Desmodus rotundus) in Latin America. A multidisciplinary Crisis Unit was activated. Its objectives were to implement an epidemiological investigation and a veterinary survey, to provide control measures and establish a communications program. The origin of the contamination was not formally established, but was probably linked to a bat bite based on the virus type isolated. After confirming exposure of 90 persons, they were vaccinated against rabies: 42 from the case's entourage and 48 healthcare workers. To handle that emergence and the local population's increased demand to be vaccinated, a specific communications program was established using several media: television, newspaper, radio.
This episode, occurring in the context of a Department far from continental France, strongly affected the local population, healthcare workers and authorities, and the management team faced intense pressure. This observation confirms that the risk of contracting rabies in French Guiana is real, with consequences for population educational program, control measures, medical diagnosis and post-exposure prophylaxis.
Author Summary
Until 2008, rabies had never been described within the French Guianan human population. Emergence of the first case in May 2008 in this French Overseas Department represented a public health event that markedly affected the local population, healthcare workers and public health authorities. The antirabies clinic of French Guiana, located at Institut Pasteur de la Guyane, had to reorganize its functioning to handle the dramatically increased demand for vaccination. A rigorous epidemiological investigation and a veterinary study were conducted to identify the contamination source, probably linked to a bat bite, and the exposed population. Communication was a key factor to controlling this episode and changing the local perception of this formerly neglected disease. Because similar clinical cases had previously been described, without having been diagnosed, medical practices must be adapted and the rabies virus should be sought more systematically in similarly presenting cases. Sharing this experience could be useful for other countries that might someday have to manage such an emergence.
PMCID: PMC3283561  PMID: 22363830
13.  High Prevalence of HBsAg during Pregnancy in Asian Communities at Cayenne Hospital, French Guiana 
We described hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence among 2,347 pregnant women having delivered at the Cayenne hospital in 2007 according to ethnicity. With 11.0% HBsAg prevalence, Asian women (Hmong and Chinese) were the group with the highest risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) perinatal transmission compared with other ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC2929075  PMID: 20810844
14.  Corynebacterium mucifaciens in an immunocompetent patient with cavitary pneumonia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:355.
Corynebacterium mucifaciens has been mainly isolated from skin, blood and from other normally-sterile body fluids. It has rarely been described as a human pathogen since its description.
Case presentation
We herein report the first case of cavitary pneumonia due to C. mucifaciens in an immunocompetent man returning from Maghreb.
C. mucifaciens should be considered as important human pathogen in patients with severe illness and compatible history of exposure even in individuals with no clearly identified immunosuppression.
PMCID: PMC3009641  PMID: 21162757
15.  Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, French Guiana 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2010;16(4):739-741.
PMCID: PMC3321943  PMID: 20350412
Hantavirus; pulmonary infection; zoonoses; rodent-borne; human; virus; French Guiana; letter
16.  Leishmaniasis among Gold Miners, French Guiana 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2006;12(7):1169-1170.
PMCID: PMC3291051  PMID: 16848045
Leishmania; cutaneous leishmaniasis; outbreak; epidemiology; French Guiana

Results 1-16 (16)