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1.  Discordant Temporal Evolution of Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 Genotypes and Plasmodium falciparum In Vitro Drug Susceptibility to 4-Aminoquinolines after Drug Policy Change in French Guiana 
Analysis of the evolution of drug target genes under changing drug policy is needed to assist monitoring of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance in the field. Here we genotype Pfcrt and Pfdmr1 of 700 isolates collected in French Guiana from 2000 (5 years after withdrawal of chloroquine) to 2008, i.e., the period when the artemether-lumefantrine combination was progressively introduced and mefloquine was abandoned. Gene sequencing showed fixation of the 7G8-type Pfcrt SMVNT resistance haplotype and near fixation of the NYCDY Pfdmr1 haplotype. Pfdmr1 gene copy number correlated with 50% inhibitory concentrations of mefloquine and halofantrine (r = 0.64 and 0.47, respectively, n = 547); its temporal changes paralleled changes in in vitro mefloquine susceptibility. However, the molecular parameters studied did not account for the regained in vitro susceptibility to chloroquine and showed a poor correlation with susceptibility to artemether, lumefantrine, or quinine. Identification of novel markers of resistance to these antimalarials is needed in this South American area.
doi:10.1128/AAC.05280-11
PMCID: PMC3294927  PMID: 22232280
2.  First Human Rabies Case in French Guiana, 2008: Epidemiological Investigation and Control 
Background
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.
Conclusion/Significance
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001537
PMCID: PMC3283561  PMID: 22363830
3.  Clinical and Virological Study of Dengue Cases and the Members of Their Households: The Multinational DENFRAME Project 
Background
Dengue has emerged as the most important vector-borne viral disease in tropical areas. Evaluations of the burden and severity of dengue disease have been hindered by the frequent lack of laboratory confirmation and strong selection bias toward more severe cases.
Methodology
A multinational, prospective clinical study was carried out in South-East Asia (SEA) and Latin America (LA), to ascertain the proportion of inapparent dengue infections in households of febrile dengue cases, and to compare clinical data and biological markers from subjects with various dengue disease patterns. Dengue infection was laboratory-confirmed during the acute phase, by virus isolation and detection of the genome. The four participating reference laboratories used standardized methods.
Principal Findings
Among 215 febrile dengue subjects—114 in SEA and 101 in LA—28 (13.0%) were diagnosed with severe dengue (from SEA only) using the WHO definition. Household investigations were carried out for 177 febrile subjects. Among household members at the time of the first home visit, 39 acute dengue infections were detected of which 29 were inapparent. A further 62 dengue cases were classified at early convalescent phase. Therefore, 101 dengue infections were found among the 408 household members. Adding these together with the 177 Dengue Index Cases, the overall proportion of dengue infections among the study participants was estimated at 47.5% (278/585; 95% CI 43.5–51.6). Lymphocyte counts and detection of the NS1 antigen differed significantly between inapparent and symptomatic dengue subjects; among inapparent cases lymphocyte counts were normal and only 20% were positive for NS1 antigen. Primary dengue infection and a specific dengue virus serotype were not associated with symptomatic dengue infection.
Conclusion
Household investigation demonstrated a high proportion of household members positive for dengue infection, including a number of inapparent cases, the frequency of which was higher in SEA than in LA.
Author Summary
Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. This disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries and threatens more than 2.5 billion people living in tropical countries. It currently affects about 50 to 100 million people each year. It causes a wide range of symptoms, from an inapparent to mild dengue fever, to severe forms, including dengue hemorrhagic fever. Currently no specific vaccine or antiviral drugs are available. We carried out a prospective clinical study in South-East Asia and Latin America, of virologically confirmed dengue-infected patients attending the hospital, and members of their households. Among 215 febrile dengue subjects, 177 agreed to household investigation. Based on our data, we estimated the proportion of dengue-infected household members to be about 45%. At the time of the home visit, almost three quarters of (29/39) presented an inapparent dengue infection. The proportion of inapparent dengue infection was higher in South-East Asia than in Latin America. These findings confirm the complexity of dengue disease in humans and the need to strengthen multidisciplinary research efforts to improve our understanding of virus transmission and host responses to dengue virus in various human populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001482
PMCID: PMC3265457  PMID: 22292098
4.  Plasmodium vivax Malaria among Military Personnel, French Guiana, 1998–2008 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(7):1280-1282.
We obtained health surveillance epidemiologic data on malaria among French military personnel deployed to French Guiana during 1998–2008. Incidence of Plasmodium vivax malaria increased and that of P. falciparum remained stable. This new epidemiologic situation has led to modification of malaria treatment for deployed military personnel.
doi:10.3201/eid1707.100009
PMCID: PMC3381416  PMID: 21762587
malaria; Plasmodium vivax; French Guiana; military personnel; parasites; vector-borne infections; dispatch
5.  Value of syndromic surveillance within the Armed Forces for early warning during a dengue fever outbreak in French Guiana in 2006 
Background
A dengue fever outbreak occured in French Guiana in 2006. The objectives were to study the value of a syndromic surveillance system set up within the armed forces, compared to the traditional clinical surveillance system during this outbreak, to highlight issues involved in comparing military and civilian surveillance systems and to discuss the interest of syndromic surveillance for public health response.
Methods
Military syndromic surveillance allows the surveillance of suspected dengue fever cases among the 3,000 armed forces personnel. Within the same population, clinical surveillance uses several definition criteria for dengue fever cases, depending on the epidemiological situation. Civilian laboratory surveillance allows the surveillance of biologically confirmed cases, within the 200,000 inhabitants.
Results
It was shown that syndromic surveillance detected the dengue fever outbreak several weeks before clinical surveillance, allowing quick and effective enhancement of vector control within the armed forces. Syndromic surveillance was also found to have detected the outbreak before civilian laboratory surveillance.
Conclusion
Military syndromic surveillance allowed an early warning for this outbreak to be issued, enabling a quicker public health response by the armed forces. Civilian surveillance system has since introduced syndromic surveillance as part of its surveillance strategy. This should enable quicker public health responses in the future.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-8-29
PMCID: PMC2459153  PMID: 18597694
6.  In Vitro Monitoring of Plasmodium falciparum Drug Resistance in French Guiana: a Synopsis of Continuous Assessment from 1994 to 2005▿  
Implemented as one arm of the malaria control program in French Guiana in the early 1990s, our laboratory has since established in vitro profiles for parasite drug susceptibility to a panel of eight antimalarials for more than 1,000 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from infected patients. The quinine-doxycycline combination was introduced in 1995 as the first-line drug treatment against uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, replacing chloroquine, and the first-line drug combination was changed to the artemether-lumefantrine combination in 2002. Resistance to chloroquine declined 5 years after it was dropped in 1995 as the first-line drug, but unlike similar situations in Africa, there was a rapid halt to this decline. Doxycycline susceptibility substantially decreased from 2002 to 2005, suggesting parasite selection under quinine-doxycycline drug pressure. Susceptibility to mefloquine decreased from 1997 onward. Throughout the period from 1994 to 2005, most isolates were sensitive in vitro to quinine, amodiaquine, and atovaquone. Susceptibility to amodiaquine was strongly correlated with that to chloroquine and to a lesser extent with that to mefloquine and halofantrine. Susceptibilities to mefloquine and to halofantrine were also strongly correlated. There were two alerts issued for in vitro artemether resistance in the period from 2002 to 2003 and again in 2005, both of which could be associated with the presence of an S769N polymorphism in the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA)-type P. falciparum ATPase6 (PfATPase6) gene. Analysis of susceptibility to lumefantrine, conducted for the first time in 2005, indicates an alarming rate of elevated 50% inhibitory concentrations. In vitro monitoring of parasite drug susceptibility should be pursued to further document the consequences of specific drug policies on the local parasite population and, in particular, to establish profiles of susceptibility to individual components of drug combinations to provide early warning signs of emerging parasite resistance.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00263-07
PMCID: PMC2223885  PMID: 17954693
7.  Proposal of a framework for evaluating military surveillance systems for early detection of outbreaks on duty areas 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:146.
Background
In recent years a wide variety of epidemiological surveillance systems have been developed to provide early identification of outbreaks of infectious disease. Each system has had its own strengths and weaknesses. In 2002 a Working Group of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) produced a framework for evaluation, which proved suitable for many public health surveillance systems. However this did not easily adapt to the military setting, where by necessity a variety of different parameters are assessed, different constraints placed on the systems, and different objectives required. This paper describes a proposed framework for evaluation of military syndromic surveillance systems designed to detect outbreaks of disease on operational deployments.
Methods
The new framework described in this paper was developed from the cumulative experience of British and French military syndromic surveillance systems. The methods included a general assessment framework (CDC), followed by more specific methods of conducting evaluation. These included Knowledge/Attitude/Practice surveys (KAP surveys), technical audits, ergonomic studies, simulations and multi-national exercises. A variety of military constraints required integration into the evaluation. Examples of these include the variability of geographical conditions in the field, deployment to areas without prior knowledge of naturally-occurring disease patterns, the differences in field sanitation between locations and over the length of deployment, the mobility of military forces, turnover of personnel, continuity of surveillance across different locations, integration with surveillance systems from other nations working alongside each other, compatibility with non-medical information systems, and security.
Results
A framework for evaluation has been developed that can be used for military surveillance systems in a staged manner consisting of initial, intermediate and final evaluations. For each stage of the process parameters for assessment have been defined and methods identified.
Conclusion
The combined experiences of French and British syndromic surveillance systems developed for use in deployed military forces has allowed the development of a specific evaluation framework. The tool is suitable for use by all nations who wish to evaluate syndromic surveillance in their own military forces. It could also be useful for civilian mobile systems or for national security surveillance systems.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-146
PMCID: PMC2386814  PMID: 18447944
8.  Use of Capillary Blood Samples as a New Approach for Diagnosis of Dengue Virus Infection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(3):887-890.
We evaluated the use of capillary blood samples stored on filter papers for diagnosis of dengue virus infection. Venous and capillary blood samples were collected from 130 patients suspected of having dengue fever. We compared the performances of standard reference methods using capillary blood samples absorbed onto filter papers versus venous blood samples. The resulting sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of tests performed on filter paper compared to those performed on venous blood samples were 81.6% (62/76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 74.9% to 88.3%), 90.7% (49/54; 95% CI, 85.7% to 95.7%), and 92.5% (62/67; 95% CI, 86.2% to 98.8%), respectively. During the acute phase of dengue virus infection (day 1 to day 4), the tests performed on capillary blood samples had a sensitivity of 88.5% (95% CI, 82.0% to 95.0%) and a specificity of 93.8% (95% CI, 88.9% to 98.7%). During the convalescent phase of infection, this method allowed the viral serotype to be determined for 4 of 15 (27%) dengue virus-infected patients for whom virological diagnosis using venous samples was negative. Capillary blood samples could therefore be a good alternative for the diagnosis of dengue virus infection in tropical areas. Indeed, these samples are convenient for storage and transport without the need for a cold chain and simplify the collection of samples from children. Moreover, our results suggest that viral particles persist longer in capillary blood than in peripheral blood. Analysis of the viability of viral particles under these conditions may give new insights into the physiopathology of dengue virus infection and the transmission of dengue virus during outbreaks.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02063-06
PMCID: PMC1829093  PMID: 17229857
9.  Resistance to Dihydroartemisinin 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(5):808-809.
doi:10.3201/eid1305.061442
PMCID: PMC2738458  PMID: 18044057
Plasmodium falciparum; artemether; resistance; Pfatpase6; French Guiana; letter
10.  New World Hantavirus in Humans, French Guiana 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2006;12(8):1294-1295.
doi:10.3201/eid1208.051619
PMCID: PMC3291217  PMID: 16972355
Hantavirus; Sin Nombre virus; seroprevalence; French Guiana; letter

Results 1-10 (10)