Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is common in pregnant women in many malaria-endemic regions and may increase risk of placental parasitemia. Placental malaria is more common in primigravidae than multigravidae, but the relationship between HIV and malaria across gravidities is not well characterized. We recruited pregnant Malawian women during the second trimester and followed them until delivery. Parasitemia was assessed at enrollment, follow-up visits, and delivery, when placental blood was sampled. There was no difference in risk of parasitemia between HIV-positive and HIV-negative primigravidae. Among multigravidae, HIV-infected women had greater than twice the risk of parasitemia as HIV-uninfected women throughout follow-up. Human immunodeficiency virus was also associated with more frequent peripheral parasitemia in multigravidae but not primigravidae. Both HIV and primigravid status were independently associated with higher peripheral and placental parasite densities. Although risk of parasitemia is lower in multigravidae than primigravidae, the HIV effect on risk of malaria is more pronounced in multigravidae.
Visceral leishmaniasis was first reported in Bhutan in 2006. We conducted studies of the parasite, possible vectors and reservoirs, and leishmanin skin test and risk factor surveys in three villages. Nineteen cases were reported from seven districts. Parasite typing yielded two novel microsatellite sequences, both related to Indian L. donovani. In one case village, 40 (18.5%) of 216 participants had positive leishmanin skin test results, compared with 3 (4.2%) of 72 in the other case village and 0 of 108 in the control village. Positive results were strongly associated with the village and increasing age. None of the tested dogs were infected. Eighteen sand flies were collected, 13 Phlebotomus species and 5 Sergentomyia species; polymerase chain reaction for leishmanial DNA was negative. This assessment suggests that endemic visceral leishmaniasis transmission has occurred in diverse locations in Bhutan. Surveillance, case investigations, and further parasite, vector, and reservoir studies are needed. The potential protective impact of bed nets should be evaluated.
Acute Chagas disease is rarely recognized, and the risk for acquiring the disease is undefined in travelers to Central America. We describe a case of acute Chagas disease in a traveler to Costa Rica and highlight the need for increased awareness of this infection in travelers to Chagas-endemic areas.
Amebic liver abscesses (ALA) are not commonly described in travelers. The ALA diagnosis is usually based on serology and Entamoeba histolytica polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a new tool. We retrospectively reviewed all ALA cases diagnosed by PCR on the liver abscess pus aspirate of patients admitted in French hospitals between 2007 and 2011. Fourteen cases (10 male, median age 48 years) were included. The median lag time between return and onset of symptoms was 23 days (interquartile range [IQ] 18–24). All patients had an elevated cardiopulmonary resuscitation level, and 11 had leukocytosis. The ALA was multiple in five patients, localized in the right lobe in 12, and higher than 5 cm in 11. Serology was initially negative in one patient, whereas PCR was positive. There was bacterial co-infection in one patient. The outcome was good. Liver puncture allows a rapid diagnosis of ALA with PCR and helps identify the association with a bacterial dual infection.
The role of Dientamoeba fragilis in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is incompletely known. We aimed to investigate whether eradication of D. fragilis alleviates symptoms in IBS. Twenty-five D. fragilis-positive IBS patients were treated with Metronidazole (MZ) or Tetracycline. The patients were mostly female (89%), and mean age (SD) was 35.1 (8.2) years. Microbiological response, evaluated 2 weeks post-treatment, was observed in 15 of 25 patients (60%), all by MZ. Clinical response, defined as adequate relief of symptoms, was observed in 7 of 22 patients (32%), all by MZ. In a logistic regression analysis, we found no significant association between clinical and microbiological response. This case study did not support our hypothesis of a simple association between D. fragilis and IBS. Some D. fragilis-infections were insufficiently treated by MZ. Further studies into the prevalence and effect of eradication of D. fragilis in IBS and into efficient treatments of D. fragilis are warranted.
Sensitive Schistosoma japonicum detection methods are needed to progress from schistosomiasis control to elimination. The sensitivity of the Kato-Katz thick smear and miracidium hatching tests decrease with infection intensity and serological tests cannot always identify current infections. We evaluated a fecal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect S. japonicum infection in 106 humans and 8 bovines in China. PCR was highly sensitive, detecting S. japonicum DNA at 0.5 eggs/g of stool. Comparing PCR examination of a single stool sample to the miracidium hatching test using three consecutive stool samples, more humans were hatching test positive (20%) than PCR positive (15%). However, two individuals were PCR positive in a village where no infections were detected by coprological methods. The sensitivity of PCR makes it a promising tool for schistosomiasis diagnostics and screening, although egg shedding variability and stool sample size present challenges for any detection method in low-transmission areas.
In schistosomiasis elimination programs, successful discrimination of Schistosoma haematobium from the related animal Schistosoma parasites will be essential for accurate detection of human parasite transmission. Polymerase chain reaction assays employing primers from two newly selected repeated sequences, named Sh73 and Sh77, did not discriminate S. haematobium when amplifying Sh73-77 intra- or inter-repeats. However, amplification between Sh73 and the previously described DraI repeat exhibited discriminative banding patterns for S. haematobium and Schistosoma bovis (sensitivity 1 pg and 10 pg, respectively). It also enabled banding pattern discrimination of Schistosoma curassoni and Schistosoma intercalatum, but Schistosoma mattheei and Schistosoma margrebowiei did not yield amplicons. Similar inter-repeat amplification between Sh77 and DraI yielded amplicons with discriminative banding for S. haematobium, and S. bovis; however, S. mattheei was detected only at low sensitivity (1 ng). The Sh73/DraI assay detected snails infected with S. haematobium, S. bovis, or both, and should prove useful for screening snails where discrimination of S. haematobium from related schistosomes is required.
The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) includes communitywide treatment in areas with ≥ 25% prevalence of schistosomiasis along the shores of Lake Victoria using community health workers (CHWs). The CHWs are key drivers in community-owned mass drug administration (MDA) intervention programs. We explored their experiences and perceptions after initial MDA participation. Unstructured open-ended group discussions were conducted after completion of MDA activities. Narratives were obtained from CHWs using a digital audio recorder during the group discussion, transcribed verbatim and translated into English where applicable. Thematic decomposition of data was done using ATLAS.t.i. software. From the perspective of the CHWs, factors influencing MDA compliance included drug side effects, food supply stability, and conspiracy theories about the “real” purpose of treatment. The interest of CHWs to serve as community drug distributors stemmed from both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Feedback from CHWs can promote more effective MDA in rural Kenyan communities.
A long, slender filarial nematode was removed from the left anterior chamber of a resident of Oregon after several days of pain and blurred vision. The worm was identified as an Onchocerca, but it could not be further identified. This worm is the third zoonotic Onchocerca removed from the anterior chamber and the second case reported from the United States. Cases of zoonotic onchocerciasis continue to garner attention, and those cases affecting the eye are of particular interest.
A study was conducted in the city of Salto, Uruguay, to identify mosquito-producing containers, the spatial distribution of mosquitoes and the relationship between the different population indices of Aedes aegypti. On each of 312 premises visited, water-filled containers and immature Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were identified. The containers were counted and classified into six categories. Pupae per person and Stegomyia indices were calculated. Pupae per person were represented spatially. The number of each type of container and number of mosquitoes in each were analyzed and compared, and their spatial distribution was analyzed. No significant differences in the number of the different types of containers with mosquitoes or in the number of mosquitoes in each were found. The distribution of the containers with mosquito was random and the distribution of mosquitoes by type of container was aggregated or highly aggregated.
The occurrence of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in areas modified by humans indicates that phlebotomine sand fly vectors breed close to human habitations. Potential peridomiciliary breeding sites of phlebotomines were sampled in an area of transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis in Southeastern Brazil. Three concentric circles rounding houses and domestic animal shelters, with radii of 20, 40, and 60 m, defined the area to be monitored using adult emergence traps. Of the 67 phlebotomines collected, Lutzomyia intermedia comprised 71.6%; Lutzomyia schreiberi, 20.9%; and Lutzomyia migonei, 4.5%. The predominance of L. intermedia, the main species suspected of transmitting L. (V.) braziliensis in Southeastern Brazil, indicates its participation in the domiciliary transmission of ACL, providing evidence that the domiciliary ACL transmission cycle might be maintained by phlebotomines that breed close to human habitations. This finding might also help in planning measures that would make the peridomiciliary environment less favorable for phlebotomine breeding sites.
Coinfection with tuberculosis in some countries occurs in 8–15% of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -infected patients who have histoplasmosis. This coinfection interferes with prompt diagnosis, and treatment is difficult because of drug interactions. We retrospectively reviewed the cases of 14 HIV-infected patients who had concomitant tuberculosis and histoplasmosis. The most frequent clinical manifestations were weight loss (85.7%), asthenia (78.5%), and fever (64.2%). The diagnosis of histoplasmosis was made primarily by histopathology (71.4%), and the diagnosis of tuberculosis was made by means of direct microscopic examination (71.4%). Death occurred in two patients, and relapse of both infections occurred in one patient. Moxifloxacin was substituted for rifampicin in six patients, with good outcomes noted for both infections. The clinical presentation does not readily identify acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients who have tuberculosis and histoplasmosis. The use of a fluoroquinolone as an alternative agent in place of rifampicin for tuberculosis allows effective therapy with itraconazole for histoplasmosis.
To elucidate the epidemic status, clinical profile, and current diagnostic issues of scrub typhus in Shandong Province, we analyzed the surveillance data of scrub typhus from 2006 to 2011 and conducted a hospital-based disease survey in 2010. Scrub typhus was clustered in mountainous and coastal areas in Shandong Province, with an epidemic period from September to November. The most common manifestations were fever (100%), eschar or skin ulcer (86.3%), fatigue (71.6%), anorexia (71.6%), and rash (68.6%). Predominant complications included bronchopneumonia, toxic hepatitis, and acute cholecystitis in 21.6%, 3.9%, and 2.9% of the cases, respectively. Severe complications including toxic myocarditis, heart failure, pneumonedema, pleural effusion, and emphysema were first reported in Shandong. Missed and delayed diagnosis of scrub typhus was common in local medical institutions. Alarm should be raised for changes of clinical features and current diagnostic issues of scrub typhus in newly developed endemic areas.
Acute and convalescent serum samples were collected from febrile inpatients identified at two hospitals in Moshi, Tanzania. Confirmed brucellosis was defined as a positive blood culture or a ≥ 4-fold increase in microagglutination test titer, and probable brucellosis was defined as a single reciprocal titer ≥ 160. Among 870 participants enrolled in the study, 455 (52.3%) had paired sera available. Of these, 16 (3.5%) met criteria for confirmed brucellosis. Of 830 participants with ≥ 1 serum sample, 4 (0.5%) met criteria for probable brucellosis. Brucellosis was associated with increased median age (P = 0.024), leukopenia (odds ratio [OR] 7.8, P = 0.005), thrombocytopenia (OR 3.9, P = 0.018), and evidence of other zoonoses (OR 3.2, P = 0.026). Brucellosis was never diagnosed clinically, and although all participants with brucellosis received antibacterials or antimalarials in the hospital, no participant received standard brucellosis treatment. Brucellosis is an underdiagnosed and untreated cause of febrile disease among hospitalized adult and pediatric patients in northern Tanzania.
The duration of anti-yellow fever (YF) virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies following YF vaccination is unknown, making it difficult to interpret positive IgM antibody results in previously vaccinated travelers. We evaluated the frequency and predictors of YF IgM antibody positivity 3–4 years following YF vaccination. Twenty-nine (73%) of 40 participants had YF IgM antibodies 3–4 years postvaccination. No demographic or exposure variables were predictive of YF IgM positivity. However, persons who were YF IgM positive at 3–4 years postvaccination had earlier onset viremia and higher neutralizing antibody geometric mean titers at 1 month and 3–4 years postvaccination compared with persons who were YF IgM negative. Detection of YF IgM antibodies several years postvaccination might reflect remote YF vaccination rather than recent YF vaccination or YF virus infection.
A growing body of evidence suggests that dengue infection in Singapore predominantly occurs away from the home, but when and where dengue transmission occurs is unclear, confounding control efforts. The authors estimate days of the week in which dengue inpatients in Singapore were infected during the period 2006–2008, based on the day they became febrile and historical data on the incubation period, using Bayesian statistical methods. Among male inpatients, the relative risk of infection is an estimated 57% higher at the weekend, suggesting infections associated with the home or leisure activities. There was no evidence of elevated risk of infection at the weekend for female inpatients. The study motivates further research identifying locales frequented in the week leading up to onset to improve the effective targeting of vector control efforts.
Malaria and dengue fever are the most prevalent vector-borne diseases worldwide. This study aims to describe the clinical profile of patients with molecular diagnosis of concurrent malaria and dengue fever in a tropical-endemic area. Eleven patients with concurrent dengue virus (DENV) and Plasmodium vivax infection are reported. Similar frequencies of DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4 were found, including DENV-3/DENV-4 co-infection. In eight patients, the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for severe malaria could be fulfilled (jaundice being the most common). Only one patient met severe dengue criteria, but warning signs were present in 10. Syndromic surveillance systems must be ready to identify this condition to avoid misinterpretation of severity attributed to a single disease.
Entomologic investigations were conducted during an intense outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) disease in Maricopa County, Arizona during July 31–August 9, 2010. The investigations compared the East Valley outbreak area, and a demographically similar control area in northwestern metropolitan Phoenix where no human cases were reported. Five mosquito species were identified in each area, and species composition was similar in both areas. Significantly more Culex quinquefasciatus females were collected by gravid traps at Outbreak sites (22.2 per trap night) than at control sites (8.9 per trap night), indicating higher Cx. quinquefasciatus abundance in the outbreak area. Twenty-eight WNV TaqMan reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction–positive mosquito pools were identified, including 24 of Cx. quinquefasciatus, 3 of Psorophora columbiae, and 1 of Culex sp. However, Cx. quinquefasciatus WNV infection rates did not differ between outbreak and control sites. At outbreak sites, 30 of 39 engorged Cx. quinquefasciatus had fed on birds, 8 of 39 on humans, and 1 of 39 on a lizard. At control sites, 20 of 20 identified blood meals were from birds. Data suggest that Cx. quinquefasciatus was the primary enzootic and epidemic vector of this outbreak. The most important parameters in the outbreak were vector abundance and blood meal analysis, which suggested more frequent contact between Cx. quinquefasciatus and human hosts in the outbreak area compared with the control area.
To determine the seroprevalence of selected orthobunyaviruses in livestock in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, a serologic investigation was performed using serum samples from 256 domestic animals (182 horses, 31 sheep, 1 dog, 37 chickens, and 5 turkeys). All serum samples were examined by plaque reduction neutralization test using Cache Valley virus (CVV), Cholul virus (CHLV), South River virus (SOURV), Kairi virus, Maguari virus, and Wyeomyia virus. Of the 182 horses, 60 (33.0%) were seropositive for CHLV, 48 (26.4%) were seropositive for CVV, 1 (0.5%) was seropositive for SOURV, 60 (33.0%) had antibodies to an undetermined orthobunyavirus, and 13 (7.1%) were negative for orthobunyavirus-specific antibody. Of the 31 sheep, 6 (19.3%) were seropositive for CHLV, 3 (9.7%) were seropositive for CVV, 4 (12.9%) were seropositive for SOURV, 16 (51.6%) had antibodies to an undetermined orthobunyavirus, and 2 (6.5%) were negative for orthobunyavirus-specific antibody. The single dog was seropositive for SOURV. Four (11%) chickens had antibodies to an undetermined orthobunyavirus, and 1 (20%) turkey was seropositive for CHLV. These data indicate that orthobunyaviruses commonly infect livestock in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The role of non-avian vertebrates in the ecology of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) is unresolved, but mounting evidence supports a potential role for snakes in the EEEV transmission cycle, especially as over-wintering hosts. To determine rates of exposure and infection, we examined serum samples from wild snakes at a focus of EEEV in Alabama for viral RNA using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Two species of vipers, the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), were found to be positive for EEEV RNA using this assay. Prevalence of EEEV RNA was more frequent in seropositive snakes than seronegative snakes. Positivity for the quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in cottonmouths peaked in April and September. Body size and sex ratios were not significantly different between infected and uninfected snakes. These results support the hypothesis that snakes are involved in the ecology of EEEV in North America, possibly as over-wintering hosts for the virus.
In this study, we investigated the molecular epidemiology of group A rotaviruses in cases of acute gastroenteritis in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. From April 2008 through November 2010, 813 diarrheal stool samples were collected from children < 5 years of age hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis. Rotavirus antigen was detected in 31.2% of samples using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Genotyping revealed the presence of the globally circulating strains G1P (50.0%), G3P (23.0%), and G2P (8.2%). The globally emerging strains G9 and G12 were detected in 1.2% and 6.1% of samples, respectively. Mixed infections were detected in a high proportion of samples (11.9%), with 9.0% and 3.7% of samples displaying multiple G and P genotypes, respectively.
The question of whether Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is a cofactor for human Papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical carcinogenesis is still controversial. We conducted a molecular detection study of both infections in 622 Brazilian women, including 252 women with different grades of abnormal cervical cytology and cervical cancer (CC; cases) and 370 women with normal cytology (controls). Although Ct infection did not seem related to CC carcinogenicity, women with abnormal cytology had a significant high rate of Ct infection. Therefore, it is important to adopt protocols for diagnosis and treatment of this bacterium in conjunction with screening for CC in this population.
We conducted a systematic review of preventive health educational videos targeting infectious diseases in schoolchildren to formulate recommendations for establishing an evidence base for future studies. We included studies that evaluated interventions involving video-based health education in schools to improve knowledge and attitudes and to change behavior regarding different infections. The majority of the 11 studies we reviewed concluded that videos were well received by schools, teachers, and children, and are promising and effective health education tools, having a positive impact on knowledge and attitudes. However, there is a pressing need for more standardized, high-quality studies to draw evidence-based conclusions on the value of educational videos targeting infectious diseases. Therefore, we provide a descriptive summary of the results and make recommendations for studies using preventive educational videos targeting infectious diseases in schoolchildren on the basis of our experiences gained in a video-based cluster randomized trial.