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1.  Rabies Risk: Difficulties Encountered during Management of Grouped Cases of Bat Bites in 2 Isolated Villages in French Guiana 
In French Guiana, from 1984 to 2011, 14 animal rabies cases and 1 human rabies case (2008) were diagnosed. In January 2011, vampire-bat attacks occurred in 2 isolated villages. In mid-January, a medical team from the Cayenne Centre for Anti-Rabies Treatment visited the sites to manage individuals potentially exposed to rabies and, in April, an anti-rabies vaccination campaign for dogs was conducted. Twenty individuals were bitten by bats in 1 month, most frequently on the feet. The median time to start management was 15 days. The complete Zagreb vaccination protocol (2 doses on day 0 and 1 dose on days 7 and 21) was administered to 16 patients, 12 also received specific immunoglobulins. The antibody titration was obtained for 12 patients (different from those who received immunoglobulins). The antibody titers were ≥0.5 EU/mL for all of them. The serology has not been implemented for the 12 patients who received immunoglobulins. Accidental destruction of a vampire-bat colony could be responsible for the attacks. The isolation and absence of sensitization of the populations were the main explanations for the management difficulties encountered. Sensitization programs should be conducted regularly.
Author Summary
Rabies is a disease almost invariably fatal in humans once the first clinical signs appear. In French Guiana bats represent the virus reservoir, especially vampire bats. From 1984 to 2011, 14 animal rabies cases and 1 human rabies case (2008) were diagnosed. In case of bat bite, anti-rabies immunoglobulins (RIG) and rabies vaccine must be rapidly administrated. The specific rabies management is exclusively performed by Centre for Anti-Rabies Treatment (CART), located at the Institut Pasteur in Cayenne, the prefecture of French Guiana, and 6 Anti-Rabies Treatment Outposts distributed along the coastal edge and along the two main rivers. Only a CART physician can administer RIG. In January 2011, vampire-bat attacks occurred in 2 isolated villages. In mid-January, a medical team from the CART visited the sites to manage individuals potentially exposed to rabies and, in April, an anti-rabies vaccination campaign for dogs was conducted. The most relevant contribution of this study is to underline difficulties to provide rabies post-exposure prophylaxis to remote populations exposed to bat rabies in the Amazonian region and to show the lack of awareness of these rural populations concerning rabies and the risk associated to vampire bats.
PMCID: PMC3694830  PMID: 23826400
2.  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
3.  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.
PMCID: PMC3381416  PMID: 21762587
malaria; Plasmodium vivax; French Guiana; military personnel; parasites; vector-borne infections; dispatch
4.  Multinormal In Vitro Distribution Model Suitable for the Distribution of Plasmodium falciparum Chemosusceptibility to Doxycycline▿  
The distribution and range of 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of doxycycline were determined for 747 isolates obtained between 1997 and 2006 from patients living in Senegal, Republic of the Congo, and Gabon and patients hospitalized in France for imported malaria. The statistical analysis was designed to answer the specific question of whether Plasmodium falciparum has different phenotypes of susceptibility to doxycycline. A triple normal distribution was fitted to the data using a Bayesian mixture modeling approach. The IC50 geometric mean ranged from 6.2 μM to 11.1 μM according to the geographical origin, with a mean of 9.3 μM for all 747 parasites. The values for all 747 isolates were classified into three components: component A, with an IC50 mean of 4.9 μM (±2.1 μM [standard deviation]); component B, with an IC50 mean of 7.7 μM (±1.2 μM); and component C, with an IC50 mean of 17.9 μM (±1.4 μM). According to the origin of the P. falciparum isolates, the triple normal distribution was found in each subgroup. However, the proportion of isolates predicted to belong to component B was most important in isolates from Gabon and Congo and in isolates imported from Africa (from 46 to 56%). In Senegal, 55% of the P. falciparum isolates were predicted to be classified as component C. The cutoff of reduced susceptibility to doxycycline in vitro was estimated to be 35 μM.
PMCID: PMC2630600  PMID: 19047651
5.  Assessment of the relative success of sporozoite inoculations in individuals exposed to moderate seasonal transmission 
Malaria Journal  2009;8:161.
The time necessary for malaria parasite to re-appear in the blood following treatment (re-infection time) is an indirect method for evaluating the immune defences operating against pre-erythrocytic and early erythrocytic malaria stages. Few longitudinal data are available in populations in whom malaria transmission level had also been measured.
One hundred and ten individuals from the village of Ndiop (Senegal), aged between one and 72 years, were cured of malaria by quinine (25 mg/day oral Quinimax™ in three equal daily doses, for seven days). Thereafter, thick blood films were examined to detect the reappearance of Plasmodium falciparum every week, for 11 weeks after treatment. Malaria transmission was simultaneously measured weekly by night collection of biting mosquitoes.
Malaria transmission was on average 15.3 infective bites per person during the 77 days follow up. The median reappearance time for the whole study population was 46.8 days, whereas individuals would have received an average one infective bite every 5 days. At the end of the follow-up, after 77 days, 103 of the 110 individuals (93.6%; CI 95% [89.0–98.2]) had been re-infected with P. falciparum. The median reappearance time ('re-positivation') was longer in subjects with patent parasitaemia at enrolment than in parasitologically-negative individuals (58 days vs. 45.9; p = 0.03) and in adults > 30 years than in younger subjects (58.6 days vs. 42.7; p = 0.0002). In a multivariate Cox PH model controlling for the sickle cell trait, G6PD deficiency and the type of habitat, the presence of parasitaemia at enrolment and age ≥ 30 years were independently predictive of a reduced risk of re-infection (PH = 0.5 [95% CI: 0.3–0.9] and 0.4; [95% CI: 0.2–0.6] respectively).
Results indicate the existence of a substantial resistance to sporozoites inoculations, but which was ultimately overcome in almost every individual after 2 1/2 months of natural challenges. Such a study design and the results obtained suggest that, despite a small sample size, this approach can contribute to assess the impact of intervention methods, such as the efficacy vector-control measures or of malaria pre-erythrocytic stages vaccines.
PMCID: PMC2717115  PMID: 19604389
7.  Genetic Determination and Linkage Mapping of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Related Traits in Senegal 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(4):e2000.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria episodes may vary considerably in their severity and clinical manifestations. There is good evidence that host genetic factors contribute to this variability. To date, most genetic studies aiming at the identification of these genes have used a case/control study design for severe malaria, exploring specific candidate genes. Here, we performed a family-based genetic study of falciparum malaria related phenotypes in two independent longitudinal survey cohorts, as a first step towards the identification of genes and mechanisms involved in the outcome of infection. We studied two Senegalese villages, Dielmo and Ndiop that differ in ethnicity, malaria transmission and endemicity. We performed genome-scan linkage analysis of several malaria-related phenotypes both during clinical attacks and asymptomatic infection. We show evidence for a strong genetic contribution to both the number of clinical falciparum malaria attacks and the asymptomatic parasite density. The asymptomatic parasite density showed linkage to chromosome 5q31 (LOD = 2.26, empirical p = 0.0014, Dielmo), confirming previous findings in other studies. Suggestive linkage values were also obtained at three additional chromosome regions: the number of clinical malaria attacks on chromosome 5p15 (LOD = 2.57, empirical p = 0.001, Dielmo) and 13q13 (LOD = 2.37, empirical p = 0.0014 Dielmo), and the maximum parasite density during asymptomatic infection on chromosome 12q21 (LOD = 3.1, empirical p<10−4, Ndiop). While regions of linkage show little overlap with genes known to be involved in severe malaria, the four regions appear to overlap with regions linked to asthma or atopy related traits, suggesting that common immune related pathways may be involved.
PMCID: PMC2295258  PMID: 18431485
8.  Methicillin-susceptible, Doxycycline-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Côte d’Ivoire 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(3):488-490.
This virulent clone has already spread to other continents.
We report 2 outbreaks of Panton-Valentine leukocidin–positive, doxycycline-resistant, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus infections in French soldiers operating in Côte d’Ivoire. In a transssectional survey, nasal carriage of this strain was found in 2.9% of 273 soldiers about to be sent to Côte d’Ivoire and was associated with prior malaria prophylaxis with doxycycline.
PMCID: PMC2725900  PMID: 17552109
Abscess; carrier state; community-acquired infections; leukocidins; nasal carriage; soft tissue infections; staphylococcal skin infections; Staphylococcus aureus; dispatch
9.  Rapid Dissemination of Plasmodium falciparum Drug Resistance Despite Strictly Controlled Antimalarial Use 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(1):e139.
Inadequate treatment practices with antimalarials are considered major contributors to Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine, pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine. The longitudinal survey conducted in Dielmo, a rural Senegalese community, offers a unique frame to explore the impact of strictly controlled and quantified antimalarial use for diagnosed malaria on drug resistance.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We conducted on a yearly basis a retrospective survey over a ten-year period that included two successive treatment policies, namely quinine during 1990–1994, and chloroquine (CQ) and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) as first and second line treatments, respectively, during 1995–1999. Molecular beacon-based genotyping, gene sequencing and microsatellite analysis showed a low prevalence of Pfcrt and Pfdhfr-ts resistance alleles of Southeast Asian origin by the end of 1994 and their effective dissemination within one year of CQ and SP implementation. The Pfcrt resistant allele rose from 9% to 46% prevalence during the first year of CQ reintroduction, i.e., after a mean of 1.66 CQ treatment courses/person/year. The Pfdhfr-ts triple mutant rose from 0% to 20% by end 1996, after a mean of 0.35 SP treatment courses/person in a 16-month period. Both resistance alleles were observed at a younger age than all other alleles. Their spreading was associated with enhanced in vitro resistance and rapidly translated in an increased incidence of clinical malaria episodes during the early post-treatment period.
In such a highly endemic setting, selection of drug-resistant parasites took a single year after drug implementation, resulting in a rapid progression of the incidence of clinical malaria during the early post-treatment period. Controlled antimalarial use at the community level did not prevent dissemination of resistance haplotypes. This data pleads against reintroduction of CQ in places where resistant allele frequency has dropped to a very low level after CQ use has been discontinued, unless drastic measures are put in place to prevent selection and spreading of mutants during the post-treatment period.
PMCID: PMC1764034  PMID: 17206274
11.  Malaria Outbreak in Troops Returning from French Guiana 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2006;12(11):1794-1795.
PMCID: PMC3372346  PMID: 17283642
Malaria; Plasmodium vivax; French Guiana; Outbreak; French troops; letter
13.  Regulation of Antigen-Specific Immunoglobulin G Subclasses in Response to Conserved and Polymorphic Plasmodium falciparum Antigens in an In Vitro Model  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(6):2820-2827.
Cytophilic antibodies (Abs) play a critical role in protection against Plasmodium falciparum blood stages, yet little is known about the parameters regulating production of these Abs. We used an in vitro culture system to study the subclass distribution of antigen (Ag)-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) produced by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from individuals exposed to P. falciparum or unexposed individuals. PBMCs, cultivated with or without cytokines and exogenous CD40/CD40L signals, were stimulated with a crude parasite extract, recombinant vaccine candidates derived from conserved Ags (19-kDa C terminus of merozoite surface protein 1 [MSP119], R23, and PfEB200), or recombinant Ags derived from the polymorphic Ags MSP1 block 2 and MSP2. No P. falciparum-specific Ab production was detected in PBMCs from unexposed individuals. PBMCs from donors exposed frequently to P. falciparum infections produced multiple IgG subclasses when they were stimulated with the parasite extract but usually only one IgG subclass when they were stimulated with a recombinant Ag. Optimal Ab production required addition of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-10 for all antigenic preparations. The IgG subclass distribution was both donor and Ag dependent and was only minimally influenced by the exogenous cytokine environment. In vitro IgG production and subclass distribution correlated with plasma Abs to some Ags (MSP119, R23, and MSP2) but not others (PfEB200 and the three MSP1 block 2-derived Ags). Data presented here suggest that intrinsic properties of the protein Ag itself play a major role in determining the subclass of the Ab response, which has important implications for rational design of vaccine delivery.
PMCID: PMC127999  PMID: 12010968

Results 1-13 (13)