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1.  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
2.  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
3.  Comparison of novel MLB-clade, VA-clade and classic human astroviruses highlights constrained evolution of the classic human astrovirus nonstructural genes 
Virology  2012;436(1):8-14.
Eight serotypes of human astroviruses (the classic human astroviruses) are causative agents of diarrhea. Recently, five additional astroviruses belonging to two distinct clades have been described in human stool, including astroviruses MLB1, MLB2, VA1, VA2 and VA3. We report the discovery in human stool of two novel astroviruses, astroviruses MLB3 and VA4. The complete genomes of these two viruses and the previously described astroviruses VA2 and VA3 were sequenced, affording 7 complete genomes from the MLB and VA clades for comparative analysis to the classic human astroviruses. Comparison of the genetic distance, number of synonymous mutations per synonymous site (dS), number of non-synonymous mutations per non-synonymous site (dN) and the dN/dS ratio in the protease, polymerase and capsid of the classic human, MLB and VA clades suggests that the protease and polymerase of the classic human astroviruses are under distinct selective pressure.
PMCID: PMC3545029  PMID: 23084422
Astrovirus discovery; diarrhea; nonstructural genes; constrained evolution
4.  Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Bartonella Species Detected in Different Tissues of Small Mammals in Nepal ▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(24):8247-8254.
Bartonellae were detected in a total of 152 (23.7%) of 642 tissues from 108 (48.4%) of 223 small mammals trapped in several urban areas of Nepal. Based on rpoB and gltA sequence analyses, genotypes belonging to seven known Bartonella species and five genotypes not belonging to previously known species were identified in these animals.
PMCID: PMC3008224  PMID: 21037303
5.  A growing global network’s role in outbreak response: AFHSC-GEIS 2008-2009 
BMC Public Health  2011;11(Suppl 2):S3.
A cornerstone of effective disease surveillance programs comprises the early identification of infectious threats and the subsequent rapid response to prevent further spread. Effectively identifying, tracking and responding to these threats is often difficult and requires international cooperation due to the rapidity with which diseases cross national borders and spread throughout the global community as a result of travel and migration by humans and animals. From Oct.1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009, the United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (AFHSC-GEIS) identified 76 outbreaks in 53 countries. Emerging infectious disease outbreaks were identified by the global network and included a wide spectrum of support activities in collaboration with host country partners, several of which were in direct support of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). The network also supported military forces around the world affected by the novel influenza A/H1N1 pandemic of 2009. With IHR (2005) as the guiding framework for action, the AFHSC-GEIS network of international partners and overseas research laboratories continues to develop into a far-reaching system for identifying, analyzing and responding to emerging disease threats.
PMCID: PMC3092413  PMID: 21388563
6.  Malaria and other vector-borne infection surveillance in the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center-Global Emerging Infections Surveillance program: review of 2009 accomplishments 
BMC Public Health  2011;11(Suppl 2):S9.
Vector-borne infections (VBI) are defined as infectious diseases transmitted by the bite or mechanical transfer of arthropod vectors. They constitute a significant proportion of the global infectious disease burden. United States (U.S.) Department of Defense (DoD) personnel are especially vulnerable to VBIs due to occupational contact with arthropod vectors, immunological naiveté to previously unencountered pathogens, and limited diagnostic and treatment options available in the austere and unstable environments sometimes associated with military operations. In addition to the risk uniquely encountered by military populations, other factors have driven the worldwide emergence of VBIs. Unprecedented levels of global travel, tourism and trade, and blurred lines of demarcation between zoonotic VBI reservoirs and human populations increase vector exposure. Urban growth in previously undeveloped regions and perturbations in global weather patterns also contribute to the rise of VBIs. The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center-Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (AFHSC-GEIS) and its partners at DoD overseas laboratories form a network to better characterize the nature, emergence and growth of VBIs globally. In 2009 the network tested 19,730 specimens from 25 sites for Plasmodium species and malaria drug resistance phenotypes and nearly another 10,000 samples to determine the etiologies of non-Plasmodium species VBIs from regions spanning from Oceania to Africa, South America, and northeast, south and Southeast Asia. This review describes recent VBI-related epidemiological studies conducted by AFHSC-GEIS partner laboratories within the OCONUS DoD laboratory network emphasizing their impact on human populations.
PMCID: PMC3092419  PMID: 21388569
7.  Identification of All Dengue Serotypes in Nepal 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2008;14(10):1669-1670.
PMCID: PMC2609890  PMID: 18826846
dengue; Nepal; Aedes; serotype; PCR; ELISA; letter
8.  Global Distribution of Novel Rhinovirus Genotype 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2008;14(6):944-947.
Global surveillance for a novel rhinovirus genotype indicated its association with community outbreaks and pediatric respiratory disease in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Molecular dating indicates that these viruses have been circulating for at least 250 years.
PMCID: PMC2600308  PMID: 18507910
picornavirus; rhinovirus; HRV-C; multiplex MassTag PCR; lower respiratory tract infection; childhood pneumonia; dispatch
9.  Influenza A (H3N2) Outbreak, Nepal 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(8):1186-1191.
Worldwide emergence of variant viruses has prompted a change in the 2005–2006 H3N2 influenza A vaccine strain.
In July 2004, an outbreak of influenza A (H3N2) was detected at 3 Bhutanese refugee camps in southeastern Nepal. Hemagglutination inhibition showed that ≈40% of the viruses from this outbreak were antigenically distinct from the A/Wyoming/3/03 vaccine strain. Four amino acid differences were observed in most of the 26 isolates compared with the A/Wyoming/3/2003 vaccine strain. All 4 substitutions are located within or adjacent to known antibody-binding sites. Several isolates showed a lysine-to-asparagine substitution at position 145 (K145N) in the hemagglutinin molecule, which may be noteworthy since position 145 is located within a glycosylation site and adjacent to an antibody-binding site. H3N2 viruses continue to drift from the vaccine strain and may remain as the dominant strains during the 2005–2006 influenza season. Thus, the 2005–2006 Northern Hemisphere vaccine strain was changed to A/California/7/2004, a virus with all 4 amino acid substitutions observed in these Nepalese isolates.
PMCID: PMC3320503  PMID: 16102305
Keywords: Influena A; H3N2; Hemagglutinin; genetic drift; variant

Results 1-9 (9)