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1.  State-of-the-art monitoring in treatment of dengue shock syndrome: a case series 
Early recognition and treatment of circulatory volume loss is essential in the clinical management of dengue viral infection. We hypothesized that a novel computational algorithm, originally developed for noninvasive monitoring of blood loss in combat casualties, could: (1) indicate the central volume status of children with dengue during the early stages of “shock”; and (2) track fluid resuscitation status.
Continuous noninvasive photoplethysmographic waveforms were collected over a 5-month period from three children of Thai ethnicity with clinical suspicion of dengue. Waveform data were processed by the algorithm to calculate each child’s Compensatory Reserve Index, where 1 represents supine normovolemia and 0 represents the circulatory volume at which hemodynamic decompensation occurs. Values between 1 and 0 indicate the proportion of reserve remaining before hemodynamic decompensation.
This case report describes a 7-year-old Thai boy, another 7-year-old Thai boy, and a 9-year-old Thai boy who exhibited signs and symptoms of dengue shock syndrome; all the children had secondary dengue virus infections, documented by serology and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The three boys experienced substantial plasma leakage demonstrated by pleural effusion index >25, ascites, and >20 % hemoconcentration. They received fluid administered intravenously; one received a blood transfusion. All three boys showed a significantly low initial Compensatory Reserve Index (≥0.20), indicating a clinical diagnosis of “near shock”. Following 5 days with fluid resuscitation treatment, their Compensatory Reserve Index increased towards “normovolemia” (that is, Compensatory Reserve Index >0.75).
The results from these cases demonstrate a new variation in the diagnostic capability to manage patients with dengue shock syndrome. The findings shed new light on a method that can avoid possible adverse effects of shock by noninvasive measurement of a patient’s compensatory reserve rather than standard vital signs or invasive diagnostic methods.
PMCID: PMC4995799  PMID: 27553703
Machine learning; Decision support; Pulse oximetry; Dengue shock syndrome
2.  HLA Class I Supertype Associations With Clinical Outcome of Secondary Dengue Virus Infections in Ethnic Thais 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2015;212(6):939-947.
Background. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) supertypes are groups of functionally related alleles that present structurally similar antigens to the immune system.
Objectives. To analyze HLA class I supertype associations with clinical outcome in hospitalized Thai children with acute dengue illness.
Methods. Seven hundred sixty-two patients and population-matched controls recruited predominantly in Bangkok were HLA-A and -B typed. HLA supertype frequencies were compared and tested for significant dengue disease associations using logistic regression analyses. Multivariable models were built by conducting forward stepwise selection procedures.
Results. In the final logistic regression model, the HLA-B44 supertype was protective against dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) in secondary infections (odds ratio [OR] = 0.46, 95% confidence interval [CI], .30–.72), while the HLA-A02 supertype (OR = 1.92, 95% CI, 1.30–2.83) and the HLA-A01/03 supertype (OR = 3.01, 95% CI, 1.01–8.92) were associated with susceptibility to secondary dengue fever. The B07 supertype was associated with susceptibility to secondary DHF in the univariate analysis (OR = 1.60, 95% CI, 1.05–2.46), whereas that was not retained in the final model.
Conclusions. As the HLA-B44 supertype is predicted to target conserved epitopes in dengue, our results suggest that B44 supertype-restricted immune responses to highly conserved regions of the dengue proteome may protect against secondary DHF.
PMCID: PMC4548457  PMID: 25740956
HLA; class I; B44; supertype; associations; secondary; dengue; infections; Thais
3.  Absence of neutralizing antibodies against influenza A/H5N1 virus among children in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand 
Influenza A/H5N1 actively circulated in Kamphaeng Phet (KPP), Thailand from 2004–2006. A prospective longitudinal cohort study of influenza virus infection in 800 adults conducted during 2008 to 2010 in KPP suggested that subclinical or mild H5N1 infections had occurred among this adult cohort. However, this study was conducted after the peak of H5N1 activity in KPP. Coincidentally, banked serum samples were available from a prospective longitudinal cohort study of primary school children who had undergone active surveillance for febrile illnesses from 2004 to 2007 and lived in the same district of KPP as the adult cohort.
We sought to investigate whether subclinical or mild H5N1 infections had occurred among KPP residents during the peak of H5N1 activity from 2004 to 2006.
Study design
H5N1 microneutralization (MN) assay was performed on banked serum samples from a prospective longitudinal cohort study of primary school children who had undergone active surveillance for febrile illnesses in KPP. Annual blood samples collected from 2004 to 2006 from 251 children were selected based on the criteria that they lived in villages with documented H5N1 infection.
No H5N1 neutralizing antibodies were detected in 753 annual blood samples from 251 children.
During 2004 to 2006, very few subclinical or mild H5N1 infections occurred in KPP. Elevated H5N1 MN titers found in the adult cohort in 2008 were likely due to cross-reactivity from other influenza virus subtypes highlighting the complexities in interpreting influenza serological data.
PMCID: PMC4515272  PMID: 26209384
Avian influenza; H5N1; microneutralization; serology; subclinical infection
4.  Patterns of Flavivirus Seroprevalence in the Human Population of Northern Laos 
A total of 1,136 samples from 289 households in four provinces in northern Laos were subjected to Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and dengue virus hemagglutination inhibition (DENV HI). Overall, antibodies to JEV were detected by HI in 620 (54.6%) of 1,136 people; of which 217 (19.1%) had HI activity against JEV only. Antibodies to DENV4 were detected by HI in 526 (46.3%) of 1,136 people; of which 124 (10.9%) had HI activity against DENV4 only. Antibodies to DENV1–3 were detected by HI in 296 (26.1%), 274 (24.1%), and 283 (24.9) of 1,136 people, respectively; of which 7, 1, and 0, respectively, had HI activity against DENV1–3 only. JEV was the most prevalent Flavivirus in Oudomxay, Luangprabang, and Huaphan provinces and DENV4 was the most prevalent in Xiengkhouang province. Seroprevalence for JEV increased with increasing age and wealth and was higher in villages where rice was cultivated in paddy fields and highest for people of Lao-Tai ethnicity.
PMCID: PMC4703266  PMID: 26304925
5.  Improving Dengue Virus Capture Rates in Humans and Vectors in Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand, Using an Enhanced Spatiotemporal Surveillance Strategy 
Dengue is of public health importance in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Dengue virus (DENV) transmission dynamics was studied in Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand, using an enhanced spatiotemporal surveillance of 93 hospitalized subjects with confirmed dengue (initiates) and associated cluster individuals (associates) with entomologic sampling. A total of 438 associates were enrolled from 208 houses with household members with a history of fever, located within a 200-m radius of an initiate case. Of 409 associates, 86 (21%) had laboratory-confirmed DENV infection. A total of 63 (1.8%) of the 3,565 mosquitoes collected were dengue polymerase chain reaction positive (PCR+). There was a significant relationship between spatial proximity to the initiate case and likelihood of detecting DENV from associate cases and Aedes mosquitoes. The viral detection rate from human hosts and mosquito vectors in this study was higher than previously observed by the study team in the same geographic area using different methodologies. We propose that the sampling strategy used in this study could support surveillance of DENV transmission and vector interactions.
PMCID: PMC4497898  PMID: 25986580
6.  Long-Term Safety and Immunogenicity of a Tetravalent Live-Attenuated Dengue Vaccine and Evaluation of a Booster Dose Administered to Healthy Thai Children 
We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of two doses of a live-attenuated, tetravalent dengue virus vaccine (F17/Pre formulation) and a booster dose in a dengue endemic setting in two studies. Seven children (7- to 8-year-olds) were followed for 1 year after dose 2 and then given a booster dose (F17/Pre formulation), and followed for four more years (Child study). In the Infant study, 49 2-year-olds, vaccinated as infants, were followed for approximately 3.5 years after dose 2 and then given a booster dose (F17) and followed for one additional year. Two clinically notable events were observed, both in dengue vaccine recipients in the Infant study: 1 case of dengue approximately 2.7 years after dose 2 and 1 case of suspected dengue after booster vaccinations. The booster vaccinations had a favorable safety profile in terms of reactogenicity and adverse events reported during the 1-month follow-up periods. No vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported during the studies. Neutralizing antibodies against dengue viruses 1–4 waned during the 1–3 years before boosting, which elicited a short-lived booster response but did not provide a long-lived, multivalent antibody response in most subjects. Overall, this candidate vaccine did not elicit a durable humoral immune response.
PMCID: PMC4889756  PMID: 27022153
7.  Dengue viruses cluster antigenically but not as discrete serotypes 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2015;349(6254):1338-1343.
The four genetically divergent dengue virus (DENV) types are traditionally classified as serotypes. Antigenic and genetic differences among the DENV types influence disease outcome, vaccine-induced protection, epidemic magnitude, and viral evolution. We characterized antigenic diversity in the DENV types by antigenic maps constructed from neutralizing antibody titers obtained from African green monkeys and after human vaccination and natural infections. Genetically, geographically, and temporally, diverse DENV isolates clustered loosely by type, but we found many are as similar antigenically to a virus of a different type as to some viruses of the same type. Primary infection antisera did not neutralize all viruses of the same DENV type any better than other types did up to two years after infection and did not show improved neutralization to homologous type isolates. That the canonical DENV types are not antigenically homogenous has implications for vaccination and research on the dynamics of immunity, disease, and the evolution of DENV.
PMCID: PMC4876809  PMID: 26383952
8.  Randomized Controlled Trial to Compare Immunogenicity of Standard-Dose Intramuscular Versus Intradermal Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men in Bangkok, Thailand 
Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at increased risk for severe influenza, yet immune responses to standard-dose intramuscular (IM) influenza vaccine are suboptimal in this population. Intradermal (ID) delivery of influenza vaccine might improve immune response through enhanced stimulation of dendritic cells.
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial to compare the immunogenicity of off-label standard-dose (15 µg) ID vs standard-dose (15 µg) IM inactive influenza vaccine in HIV-infected men in Bangkok, Thailand. The primary study outcome was seroconversion (minimum titer of 1:40 and ≥4-fold rise in antibody titer) at 1 month postvaccination based on serum hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers against each vaccine strain. Adverse events (AEs) in the 7 days following vaccination were also assessed.
We enrolled 400 HIV-infected participants; 200 were randomly assigned to receive IM and 200 ID vaccine. Vaccine arms were well-balanced with respect to age, CD4 cell count, HIV RNA load, and antiretroviral treatment. Percentage of seroconversion to all (ID 14% vs IM 15%; P = .8) or at least 1 (ID 69% vs IM 68%; P = .7) of the 3 vaccine strains did not differ significantly between ID vs IM vaccine recipients. A higher proportion of participants who received ID vaccine had mild injection-site AEs compared with participants who received IM vaccine (77% vs 27%).
There were no significant differences in the immunogenicity of standard-dose ID vs IM influenza vaccine in this HIV-infected population in Thailand. Additional strategies to enhance immune responses to influenza vaccine among HIV-infected persons are needed.
PMCID: PMC4707082  PMID: 26486702
influenza; vaccine; HIV; immunogenicity; intradermal
9.  Elevated transmission of upper respiratory illness among new recruits in military barracks in Thailand 
New recruits within military barracks present conditions favorable for the spread of respiratory pathogens. However, respiratory pathogen transmission in such confined settings in the tropics has not been well studied.
Recruits in four successive Royal Thai Army basic training classes living in military barracks were monitored for the symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) or upper respiratory illness (URI). Classes 1 and 2 were also monitored after basic training. Nasal/throat swabs from acute illnesses were collected and tested by influenza RT-PCR (all four classes). In addition, class 1 had multiplex PCR performed along with the analysis of bed locations within the barracks.
Influenza-like illness/upper respiratory illness rates ranged from 4·7 to 6·9 per 100 recruit-weeks in the four classes and generally decreased during the course of basic training (P < 0·05 in three of four classes). Rates during basic training were 1·7 (95% CI: 1·29, 2·29) and 2·5 (95% CI: 1·5, 4·1) times higher than after basic training (classes 1 and 2, respectively). In class 1, coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, and rhinovirus were the most commonly identified respiratory pathogens; only one influenza PCR-positive infection was detected in all four classes. Bed locations of URI/ILI cases in class 1 tended to be in closer proximity to each other.
Basic training recruits in military barracks in the tropics had high rates of acute respiratory illnesses with illness patterns consistent with external seeding followed by substantial internal transmission. Our findings may contribute to control measures in similar confined settings both within and outside the military.
PMCID: PMC4605412  PMID: 26271648
Human; military; respiratory tract infections; Thailand; transmission
10.  Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in the Tropics: Moderate Protection in a Case Test-Negative Analysis of a Hospital-Based Surveillance Population in Bangkok between August 2009 and January 2013 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(8):e0134318.
Influenza in the tropics occurs year round with peaks that correspond variably to temperate regions. However, data on influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in the tropics is sparse. We report on the effectiveness of influenza vaccine to prevent medically attended laboratory confirmed influenza from sentinel surveillance conducted at a Thai military medical facility in Bangkok, Thailand from August 2009 to January 2013. Patients ≥6 months old presenting with influenza-like illness underwent combined nasal/throat swabs which were tested by influenza RT-PCR. A case test-negative study design was used to evaluate VE. Of 2999 samples available for analysis,1059 (35.3%) were PCR-positive (cases) and 1940 (64.6%) were PCR-negative (test-negative controls). Five hundred and seven (16.9%) of these patients reported being vaccinated within the previous 12 months. Periods of high and low influenza activity were defined based on publicly available Thai Ministry of Public Health data. Overall VE adjusted for age and epiweek was found to be 50.1% (95%CI: 35.0, 61.9%). The May to April adjusted VE for year 2010, 2011 and 2012 was 57.7% (95%CI: 33.7, 73.8%), 57.1% (95% CI: 35.2, 68.3%) and 37.6% (95% CI: 3.5, 62.9%).During high influenza activity in years with the same vaccine formulation, the adjusted VE was 54.9% (95%CI: 38.9, 66.9%). VE appeared to be much higher during high versus low influenza activity periods. The adjusted point estimate for VE was highest in the 18–49 year age group (76.6%) followed by 6–23 months (58.1%) and 2–17 years (52.5%). Adjusted estimates were not done for those ≥50 years of age due to small numbers. VE in patients with underlying disease was 75.5% compared to 48.0% in those without. Our findings demonstrate moderate protection by influenza vaccination and support the utility of influenza vaccination in the tropics including in very young children and those with underlying disease.
PMCID: PMC4534293  PMID: 26267430
11.  Evaluation of Cardiac Involvement in Children with Dengue by Serial Echocardiographic Studies 
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases  2015;9(7):e0003943.
Infection with dengue virus results in a wide range of clinical manifestations from dengue fever (DF), a self-limited febrile illness, to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which is characterized by plasma leakage and bleeding tendency. Although cardiac involvement has been reported in dengue, the incidence and the extent of cardiac involvement are not well defined.
Methods and Principal findings
We characterized the incidence and changes in cardiac function in a prospective in-patient cohort of suspected dengue cases by serial echocardiography. Plasma leakage was detected by serial chest and abdominal ultrasonography. Daily cardiac troponin-T levels were measured. One hundred and eighty one dengue cases were enrolled. On the day of enrollment, dengue cases that already developed plasma leakage had lower cardiac index (2695 (127) vs 3188 (75) (L/min/m2), p = .003) and higher left ventricular myocardial performance index (.413 (.021) vs .328 (.026), p = .021) and systemic vascular resistance (2478 (184) vs 1820 (133) (dynes·s/cm5), p = .005) compared to those without plasma leakage. Early diastolic wall motion of the left ventricle was decreased in dengue cases with plasma leakage compared to those without. Decreased left ventricular wall motility was more common in dengue patients compared to non-dengue cases particularly in cases with plasma leakage. Differences in cardiac function between DF and DHF were most pronounced around the time of plasma leakage. Cardiac dysfunction was transient and did not require treatment. Transient elevated troponin-T levels were more common in DHF cases compared to DF (14.5% vs 5%, p = 0.028).
Transient left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction was common in children hospitalized with dengue and related to severity of plasma leakage. The functional abnormality spontaneously resolved without specific treatment. Cardiac structural changes including myocarditis were uncommon.
Author Summary
Dengue is a viral infection with a wide range of symptoms from a self-limiting fever called dengue fever (DF) to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which is characterized by leaky blood vessels and bleeding that can lead to shock in severe cases. Abnormal heart function has been reported but the frequencies and the progression of heart involvement are not well defined. In this study children with dengue had serial evaluation of their heart function during the course of the illness. Patients with DHF had comparatively low blood volume at the time of fever resolution and had decreased blood flow into the left lower heart chamber compared to DF cases. Relaxation and contraction of the left side of the heart were also relatively decreased in DHF. These abnormalities may contribute to the clinical response and complications of fluid replacement in dengue.
PMCID: PMC4520477  PMID: 26226658
12.  Dengue Virus and Japanese Encephalitis Virus Epidemiological Shifts in Nepal: A Case of Opposing Trends 
We report on the changing epidemiology of two important flaviviruses in Nepal: Japanese encephalitis (JE) and dengue viruses. Morbidity and mortality in Nepal is in the thousands since JE was introduced in 1978. Nepal launched an extensive laboratory-based JE surveillance in 2004. Nepal experienced a remarkable reduction in disease burden after mass immunizations from 2005 to 2010, when 2,040 JE infections and 205 JE-related deaths were confirmed. With its emergence in 2006, dengue has become a significant challenge in the country, highlighted by a sudden outbreak in 2010 that resulted in 359 confirmed dengue infections. Currently, both viruses cocirculate in Nepal. Here, we document the remarkable expansion of dengue in Nepal, which urgently requires national surveillance to refine the burden and make recommendations regarding control and prevention programs. We believe that the use of existing JE surveillance network for integrated dengue surveillance may represent the most appropriate alternative.
PMCID: PMC3617851  PMID: 23419366
13.  Estimation of the Impact of a Japanese Encephalitis Immunization Program with Live, Attenuated SA 14-14-2 Vaccine in Nepal 
Wider availability of the live, attenuated SA 14-14-2 Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine has facilitated introduction or expansion of immunization programs in many countries. However, information on their impact is limited. In 2006, Nepal launched a JE immunization program, and by 2009, mass campaigns had been implemented in 23 districts. To describe the impact, we analyzed surveillance data from 2004 to 2009 on laboratory-confirmed JE and clinical acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) cases. The post-campaign JE incidence rate of 1.3 per 100,000 population was 72% lower than expected if no campaigns had occurred, and an estimated 891 JE cases were prevented. In addition, AES incidence was 58% lower, with an estimated 2,787 AES cases prevented, suggesting that three times as many disease cases may have been prevented than indicated by the laboratory-confirmed JE cases alone. These results provide useful information on preventable JE disease burden and the potential value of JE immunization programs.
PMCID: PMC3592526  PMID: 23358643
14.  Sequential dengue virus infections detected in active and passive surveillance programs in Thailand, 1994–2010 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:250.
The effect of prior dengue virus (DENV) exposure on subsequent heterologous infection can be beneficial or detrimental depending on many factors including timing of infection. We sought to evaluate this effect by examining a large database of DENV infections captured by both active and passive surveillance encompassing a wide clinical spectrum of disease.
We evaluated datasets from 17 years of hospital-based passive surveillance and nine years of cohort studies, including clinical and subclinical DENV infections, to assess the outcomes of sequential heterologous infections. Chi square or Fisher’s exact test was used to compare proportions of infection outcomes such as disease severity; ANOVA was used for continuous variables. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess risk factors for infection outcomes.
Of 38,740 DENV infections, two or more infections were detected in 502 individuals; 14 had three infections. The mean ages at the time of the first and second detected infections were 7.6 ± 3.0 and 11.2 ± 3.0 years. The shortest time between sequential infections was 66 days. A longer time interval between sequential infections was associated with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) in the second detected infection (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.4). All possible sequential serotype pairs were observed among 201 subjects with DHF at the second detected infection, except DENV-4 followed by DENV-3. Among DENV infections detected in cohort subjects by active study surveillance and subsequent non-study hospital-based passive surveillance, hospitalization at the first detected infection increased the likelihood of hospitalization at the second detected infection.
Increasing time between sequential DENV infections was associated with greater severity of the second detected infection, supporting the role of heterotypic immunity in both protection and enhancement. Hospitalization was positively associated between the first and second detected infections, suggesting a possible predisposition in some individuals to more severe dengue disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1590-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4371716  PMID: 25886528
15.  A Model Immunization Programme to Control Japanese Encephalitis in Viet Nam 
In Viet Nam, an inactivated, mouse brain-derived vaccine for Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been given exclusively to ≤5 years old children in 3 paediatric doses since 1997. However, JE incidence remained high, especially among children aged 5-9 years. We conducted a model JE immunization programme to assess the feasibility and impact of JE vaccine administered to 1-9 year(s) children in 3 standard-dose regimen: paediatric doses for children aged <3 years and adult doses for those aged ≥3 years. Of the targeted children, 96.2% were immunized with ≥2 doses of the vaccine. Compared to the national immunization programme, JE incidence rate declined sharply in districts with the model programme (11.32 to 0.87 per 100,000 in pre-versus post-vaccination period). The rate of reduction was most significant in the 5-9 years age-group. We recommend a policy change to include 5-9 years old children in the catch-up immunization campaign and administer a 4th dose to those aged 5-9 years, who had received 3 doses of the vaccine during the first 2-3 years of life.
PMCID: PMC4438663  PMID: 25995736
Demonstration project; Effectiveness study; Immunization; Japanese encephalitis; Vaccines
16.  Characteristics of Mild Dengue Virus Infection in Thai Children 
A four-year longitudinal cohort and geographic cluster study in rural Thailand was conducted to characterize the clinical spectrum of dengue virus (DENV) infection. Symptomatic DENV infections in the cohort were detected by active school absence–based surveillance that triggered cluster investigations around ill cohort children. Data from 189 cohort children with symptomatic DENV infection and 126 contact children in the clusters with DENV infection were analyzed. Of infected contacts, only 19% were asymptomatic; 81% were symptomatic, but only 65.9% reported fever. Symptom-based case definitions were unreliable for diagnosis. Symptomatic infections in contacts were milder with lower DENV RNA levels than the cohort. Infections in contacts with fever history were more likely to have detectable DENV RNA than infections without fever history. Mild infections identified by cluster investigations account for a major proportion of all DENV infections. These findings are relevant for disease burden assessments, transmission modeling, and determination of vaccine impact.
PMCID: PMC3854884  PMID: 24127167
17.  Seroincidence of Influenza Among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Men During the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, Bangkok, Thailand 
Open Forum Infectious Diseases  2014;1(3):ofu082.
Among 368 Thai men who have sex with men with paired serum samples collected before and during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, we determined influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 seroconversion rates (≥4-fold rise in antibody titers by hemagglutination inhibition or microneutralization assays). Overall, 66 of 232 (28%) participants seroconverted after the first year of A(H1N1)pdm09 activity, and 83 of 234 (35%) participants seroconverted after the second year. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 seroconversion did not differ between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected (55 of 2157 [35%]) and HIV-uninfected (71 of 2211 [34%]) participants (P = .78). Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 seroconversion occurred in approximately one third of our Thai study population and was similar among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected participants.
PMCID: PMC4324228  PMID: 25734157
A(H1N1)pdm09; HIV; influenza; pandemic; serology; Thailand
18.  Genetic Diversity of Thottapalayam Virus, a Hantavirus Harbored by the Asian House Shrew (Suncus murinus) in Nepal 
Despite the recent discovery of genetically divergent hantaviruses in shrews of multiple species in widely separated geographic regions, data are unavailable about the genetic diversity and phylogeography of Thottapalayam virus (TPMV), a hantavirus originally isolated from an Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) captured in southern India more than four decades ago. To bridge this knowledge gap, the S, M, and L segments of hantavirus RNA were amplified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from archival lung tissues of Asian house shrews captured in Nepal from January to September 1996. Pair-wise alignment and comparison revealed approximately 80% nucleotide and > 94% amino acid sequence similarity to prototype TPMV. Phylogenetic analyses, generated by maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed geographic-specific clustering of TPMV, similar to that observed for rodent- and soricid-borne hantaviruses. These findings confirm that the Asian house shrew is the natural reservoir of TPMV and suggest a long-standing virus–host relationship.
PMCID: PMC3163881  PMID: 21896819
19.  The Spatial Dynamics of Dengue Virus in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand 
Dengue is endemic to the rural province of Kamphaeng Phet, Northern Thailand. A decade of prospective cohort studies has provided important insights into the dengue viruses and their generated disease. However, as elsewhere, spatial dynamics of the pathogen remain poorly understood. In particular, the spatial scale of transmission and the scale of clustering are poorly characterized. This information is critical for effective deployment of spatially targeted interventions and for understanding the mechanisms that drive the dispersal of the virus.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We geocoded the home locations of 4,768 confirmed dengue cases admitted to the main hospital in Kamphaeng Phet province between 1994 and 2008. We used the phi clustering statistic to characterize short-term spatial dependence between cases. Further, to see if clustering of cases led to similar temporal patterns of disease across villages, we calculated the correlation in the long-term epidemic curves between communities. We found that cases were 2.9 times (95% confidence interval 2.7–3.2) more likely to live in the same village and be infected within the same month than expected given the underlying spatial and temporal distribution of cases. This fell to 1.4 times (1.2–1.7) for individuals living in villages 1 km apart. Significant clustering was observed up to 5 km. We found a steadily decreasing trend in the correlation in epidemics curves by distance: communities separated by up to 5 km had a mean correlation of 0.28 falling to 0.16 for communities separated between 20 km and 25 km. A potential explanation for these patterns is a role for human movement in spreading the pathogen between communities. Gravity style models, which attempt to capture population movement, outperformed competing models in describing the observed correlations.
There exists significant short-term clustering of cases within individual villages. Effective spatially and temporally targeted interventions deployed within villages may target ongoing transmission and reduce infection risk.
Author Summary
Transmission of dengue virus has long been studied in Kamphaeng Phet, Northern Thailand, but how cases are related in time and space is still unclear, as is the role of human movement in generating these patterns. Because of these knowledge gaps, public health officials cannot make educated decisions on how to target vector control interventions and mechanisms of virus dispersal are not known. We mapped the homes of dengue cases admitted to the main hospital in the province capital from 1994–2008 and quantified the spatial correlation between them. We found an almost three times greater chance that cases from the same month came from the same village than expected, given the overall distribution of cases. Some clustering was also observed between cases in neighboring villages with the overall epidemics experienced by neighboring communities also more correlated than epidemics in villages farther apart. The short-term clustering observed within individual villages implies that effective spatially targeted interventions deployed within villages may reduce infection risk. As the distance between neighboring communities exceeds the typical flight range of the dengue vector, these findings also suggest a potential role for human movement in driving the wider spread of the virus.
PMCID: PMC4161352  PMID: 25211127
20.  High Rate of A(H1N1)pdm09 Infections among Rural Thai Villagers, 2009–2010 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106751.
Pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 emerged in Thailand in 2009. A prospective longitudinal adult cohort and household transmission study of influenza-like illness (ILI) was ongoing in rural Thailand at the time of emergence. Symptomatic and subclinical A(H1N1)pdm09 infection rates in the cohort and among household members were evaluated.
A cohort of 800 Thai adults underwent active community-based surveillance for ILI from 2008–2010. Acute respiratory samples from ILI episodes were tested for A(H1N1)pdm09 by qRT-PCR; acute and 60-day convalescent blood samples were tested by A(H1N1)pdm09 hemagglutination inhibition assay (HI). Enrollment, 12-month and 24-month follow-up blood samples were tested for A(H1N1)pdm09 seroconversion by HI. Household members of influenza A-infected cohort subjects with ILI were enrolled in household transmission investigations in which day 0 and 60 blood samples and acute respiratory samples were tested by either qRT-PCR or HI for A(H1N1)pdm09. Seroconversion between annual blood samples without A(H1N1)pdm09-positive ILI was considered as subclinical infection.
The 2-yr cumulative incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 infection in the cohort in 2009/2010 was 10.8% (84/781) with an annual incidence of 1.2% in 2009 and 9.7% in 2010; 83.3% of infections were subclinical (50% in 2009 and 85.9% in 2010). The 2-yr cumulative incidence was lowest (5%) in adults born ≤1957. The A(H1N1)pdm09 secondary attack rate among household contacts was 47.2% (17/36); 47.1% of these infections were subclinical. The highest A(H1N1)pdm09 secondary attack rate among household contacts (70.6%, 12/17) occurred among children born between 1990 and 2003.
Subclinical A(H1N1)pdm09 infections in Thai adults occurred frequently and accounted for a greater proportion of all A(H1N1)pdm09 infections than previously estimated. The role of subclinical infections in A(H1N1)pdm09 transmission has important implications in formulating strategies to predict and prevent the spread of A(H1N1)pdm09 and other influenza virus strains.
PMCID: PMC4154756  PMID: 25188434
21.  Neuropathogenesis of Japanese Encephalitis in a Primate Model 
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity for which there is no treatment. In addition to direct viral cytopathology, the inflammatory response is postulated to contribute to the pathogenesis. Our goal was to determine the contribution of bystander effects and inflammatory mediators to neuronal cell death.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Material from a macaque model was used to characterize the inflammatory response and cytopathic effects of JE virus (JEV). Intranasal JEV infection induced a non-suppurative encephalitis, dominated by perivascular, infiltrates of mostly T cells, alongside endothelial cell activation, vascular damage and blood brain barrier (BBB) leakage; in the adjacent parenchyma there was macrophage infiltration, astrocyte and microglia activation. JEV antigen was mostly in neurons, but there was no correlation between intensity of viral infection and degree of inflammatory response. Apoptotic cell death occurred in both infected and non-infected neurons. Interferon-α, which is a microglial activator, was also expressed by both. Tumour Necrosis Factor-α, inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitrotyrosine were expressed by microglial cells, astrocytes and macrophages. The same cells expressed matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 whilst MMP-9 was expressed by neurons.
The results are consistent with JEV inducing neuronal apoptotic death and release of cytokines that initiate microglial activation and release of pro-inflammatory and apoptotic mediators with subsequent apoptotic death of both infected and uninfected neurons. Activation of astrocytes, microglial and endothelial cells likely contributes to inflammatory cell recruitment and BBB breakdown. It appears that neuronal apoptotic death and activation of microglial cells and astrocytes play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of JE.
Author Summary
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the most important causes of viral encephalitis worldwide, with no specific antiviral treatment available. Despite some recent successes with widespread vaccination, JE will likely remain an important public health problem; because the virus is mosquito-borne and has natural animal hosts, it will never be eradicated. We have little understanding of what determines the severity and outcome of infection. Data from human post mortem studies is very limited because of cultural constraints on autopsies in areas where JE occurs. Circumstantial evidence suggests that in addition to cytopathology caused directly by infection of neurons, there may be bystander cell death of non-infected neurons, caused by an excessive inflammatory response. Our study used archived brain samples from a prior challenge study in a validated macaque model of JE. We stained for the presence of JEV antigen, apoptosis, and pro-inflammatory markers in affected areas, such as the thalamus and brainstem. We show that bystander neuronal cell death is important, and elucidate the inflammatory and apoptotic mechanisms underlying it. Currently there is no proven efficacious therapy for most viral infections of the central nervous system, including JE. Novel strategies for treating such infections are urgently needed. Our findings suggest new anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic therapeutic approaches may be useful in treating this debilitating disease.
PMCID: PMC4125110  PMID: 25102067
22.  Dengue and US Military Operations from the Spanish–American War through Today 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2012;18(4):623-630.
Dengue may remain problematic for military personnel until an effective vaccine is licensed.
Dengue is a major cause of illness among travelers and a threat to military troops operating in areas to which it is endemic. Before and during World War II, dengue frequently occurred in US military personnel in Asia and the South Pacific. From the 1960s into the 1990s, dengue often occurred in US troops in Vietnam, the Philippines, Somalia, and Haiti. We found attack rates as high as 80% and periods of convalescence up to 3-1/2 weeks beyond the acute illness. The increase in dengue throughout the world suggests that it will remain a problem for military personnel until an effective vaccine is licensed.
PMCID: PMC3309667  PMID: 22469290
dengue; military personnel; history; fever; viruses; vector-borne infections; United States; Spanish–American War; military operations
23.  Preliminary evaluation of near infrared spectroscopy as a method to detect plasma leakage in children with dengue hemorrhagic fever 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:396.
Dengue viral infections are prevalent in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, resulting in substantial morbidity and mortality. Clinical manifestations range from a self-limited fever to a potential life-threatening plasma leakage syndrome (dengue hemorrhagic fever). The objective of this study was to assess the utility of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measurements of muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2) as a possible continuous measure to detect plasma leakage in children with dengue.
Children ages 6 months to 15 years of age admitted with suspected dengue were enrolled from the dengue ward at Queen Sirikit National Institute for Child Health. Children were monitored daily until discharge. NIRS data were collected continuously using a prototype CareGuide Oximeter 1100 with sensors placed on the deltoid or thigh. Daily ultrasound of the chest and a right lateral decubitus chest x-ray the day after defervescence were performed to detect and quantitate plasma leakage in the pleural cavity.
NIRS data were obtained from 19 children with laboratory-confirmed dengue. Average minimum SmO2 decreased for all subjects prior to defervescence. Average minimum SmO2 subsequently increased in children with no ultrasound evidence of pleural effusion but remained low in children with pleural effusion following defervescence. Average minimum SmO2 was inversely correlated with pleural space fluid volume. ROC analysis revealed a cut-off value for SmO2 which yielded high specificity and sensitivity.
SmO2 measured using NIRS may be a useful guide for real-time and non-invasive identification of plasma leakage in children with dengue. Further investigation of the utility of NIRS measurements for prediction and management of severe dengue syndromes is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4223418  PMID: 25033831
24.  Space-time analysis of hospitalized dengue patients in rural Thailand reveals important temporal intervals in the pattern of dengue virus transmission 
This study uses space-time analysis to determine the temporal intervals at which spatial clustering of dengue hospitalizations occurs.
Analysis of 262 people hospitalized and serologically confirmed with dengue virus infections in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand was performed. The cases were observed between January 1, 2009 and May 6, 2011. Spatial coordinates of each patient’s home were captured using the Global Positioning System. A novel methodology based on the Knox test was used to determine the temporal intervals between cases at which spatial clustering occured. These intervals are indicative of the length of time between successive illnesses in the chain of dengue virus transmission.
The strongest spatial clustering occurred at the 15–17 day interval. Therewas also significant spatial clustering over short time intervals (2–5 days). The highest excess risk was observed within 200m of a previous hospitalized case and significantly elevated risk persisted within this distance for as long as 32–34 days.
The analyses indicate that 15–17 days is the most likely serial interval between successive dengue illnesses. This novel methodology relies only on passively-detected, hospitalized case data with household locations and provides a useful tool for understanding region-specific and outbreak-specific dengue virus transmission dynamics.
PMCID: PMC4099473  PMID: 22808917
dengue; transmission; serial interval; space-time; clustering; Thailand
25.  Factors Influencing Dengue Virus Isolation by C6/36 Cell Culture and Mosquito Inoculation of Nested PCR-Positive Clinical Samples 
Dengue viral isolation is necessary for definitive diagnosis, pathogenesis and evolutionary research, vaccine candidates, and diagnostic materials. Using standardized techniques, we analyzed isolation rates of 1,544 randomly selected polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive samples, representing all four dengue serotypes, from patients with serologically confirmed dengue infections and evaluated whether clinical and laboratory results could be predictive of isolation using standard and mosquito isolation techniques. Viruses were isolated from 62.5% of the samples by direct application to C6/36 cells and increased to 79.4% when amplifying C6/36 negative samples by intrathorasic inoculation in Toxyrhynchites splendens mosquitoes. High viremia, measured by reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, was a strong predictor for viral isolation by either method. Isolation was most successful in samples collected early in the disease, had low antibody levels, temperatures greater than 38°C, and had a final clinical diagnosis of dengue fever. Dengue serotypes also played a role in the success of viral isolation.
PMCID: PMC3029170  PMID: 21292887

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