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.
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 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.
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 developing countries, safe piped drinking water is generally unavailable, and bottled water is unaffordable for most people. Purchasing drinking water from community-scale decentralized water treatment and refill kiosks (referred to as isi ulang depots in Indonesia) is becoming a common alternative. This study investigates the association between diarrhea risk and community-scale water treatment and refill kiosk. We monitored daily diarrhea status and water source for 1,000 children 1–4 years of age in Jakarta, Indonesia, for up to 5 months. Among children in an urban slum, rate of diarrhea/1,000 child-days varied significantly by primary water source: 8.13 for tap water, 3.60 for bottled water, and 3.97 for water kiosks. In multivariable Poisson regression analysis, diarrhea risk remained significantly lower among water kiosk users (adjusted rate ratio [RR] = 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.29–0.83) and bottled water users (adjusted RR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.21–0.97), compared with tap water users. In a peri-urban area, where few people purchased from water kiosk (N = 28, 6% of total population), diarrhea rates were lower overall: 2.44 for well water, 1.90 for bottled water, and 2.54 for water kiosks. There were no significant differences in diarrhea risk for water kiosk users or bottled water users compared with well water users. Purchasing water from low-cost water kiosks is associated with a reduction in diarrhea risk similar to that found for bottled water.
We aimed to use optic nerve sheath (ONS) ultrasound to determine the prevalence of raised intracranial pressure (ICP) in African children with cerebral malaria (CM); and if increased ONS diameter is associated with poor outcome. We measured ONS diameter in 101 children with CM and 11 children with malaria and impaired consciousness in Malawi. The prevalence of raised ICP detected by increased ONS diameter was 49%. Case fatality was similar in children with increased ONS diameter on admission (9/55) and those children without increased ONS diameter (11/57). Neurological sequelae were more common in those children with increased ONS diameter (7/46 versus 2/46, P < 0.05). Lumbar puncture (LP) opening pressure was elevated in 95% of 46 children who underwent LP. In Malawian children with CM, raised ICP is less commonly detected by ONS ultrasound than LP. This study suggests that raised ICP is not universal in CM and that other mechanisms may account for coma.
In 2005, sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) became the drug of choice for intermittent preventive treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) in Ghana. Reports suggest the use of SP by others to treat uncomplicated malaria. Because of the increased use of SP, the prevalence of mutations in the genes, dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr), and dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps), linked to SP resistance in P. falciparum were determined. Blood samples from 945 children with uncomplicated malaria collected at nine sites from 2003 to 2010 were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism. Prevalence of the dhfr triple and dhfr plus dhps quadruple mutations showed significant increase in trend from 2003 to 2010 (χ2 = 18.78, P < 0.001, χ2 = 15.11, P < 0.001, respectively). For dhps double mutant G437 + E540 the prevalence was low (1.12%) caused by the very low prevalence of E540. Our findings show the wide use of SP in Ghana and therefore its use for IPTp needs to be closely monitored.
Immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant, live-attenuated, tetravalent dengue disease vaccine (CYD-TDV) was evaluated in children/adolescents in Brazil. In this observer-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II single-center study, children/adolescents (ages 9–16 years) were randomized to receive CYD-TDV or placebo at 0, 6, and 12 months. Immunogenicity was assessed using a 50% plaque neutralization test. Overall, 150 participants were enrolled (CYD-TDV: N = 100; placebo: N = 50). Injection site pain and headache were the most common solicited injection site and systemic reactions. Unsolicited adverse events (AEs) and serious AEs were similar between groups. No serious AEs were vaccine-related. Geometric mean titers against all dengue virus serotypes increased with CYD-TDV vaccination and were 267, 544, 741, and 432 1/dil for serotypes 1–4, respectively, after dose 3, representing a mean fold increase from baseline of 5, 6, 6, and 20, respectively. CYD-TDV vaccination elicited a neutralizing antibody response against serotypes 1–4 and was well-tolerated in children/adolescents in a dengue-endemic region.
Using a novel analytical approach, weather dynamics and seasonal dengue virus transmission cycles were profiled for each Thailand province, 1983–2001, using monthly assessments of cases, temperature, humidity, and rainfall. We observed systematic differences in the structure of seasonal transmission cycles of different magnitude, the role of weather in regulating seasonal cycles, necessary versus optimal transmission “weather-space,” basis of large epidemics, and predictive indicators that estimate risk. Larger epidemics begin earlier, develop faster, and are predicted at Onset change-point when case counts are low. Temperature defines a viable range for transmission; humidity amplifies the potential within that range. This duality is central to transmission. Eighty percent of 1.2 million severe dengue cases occurred when mean temperature was 27–29.5°C and mean humidity was > 75%. Interventions are most effective when applied early. Most cases occur near Peak, yet small reductions at Onset can substantially reduce epidemic magnitude. Monitoring the Quiet-Phase is fundamental in effectively targeting interventions pre-emptively.
Leptospirosis is a widespread but under-reported cause of morbidity and mortality. Global re-emergence of leptospirosis has been associated with the growth of informal urban settlements in which rodents are thought to be important reservoir hosts. Understanding the multi-host epidemiology of leptospirosis is essential to control and prevent disease. A cross-sectional survey of rodents in the Kibera settlement in Nairobi, Kenya was conducted in September–October 2008 to demonstrate the presence of pathogenic leptospires. A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that 41 (18.3%) of 224 rodents carried pathogenic leptospires in their kidneys, and sequence data identified Leptospira interrogans and L. kirschneri in this population. Rodents of the genus Mus (37 of 185) were significantly more likely to be positive than those of the genus Rattus (4 of 39; odds ratio = 15.03). Questionnaire data showed frequent contact between humans and rodents in Kibera. This study emphasizes the need to quantify the public health impacts of this neglected disease at this and other urban sites in Africa.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a neglected parasitic disease that is fatal if left untreated and is endemic in eastern Sudan. We estimated the direct and indirect costs of treatment of VL from the perspective of the provider and the household at three public hospitals in Gedaref State. The median total cost for one VL episode was estimated to be US$450. Despite the free provision of VL drugs at public hospitals, households bore 53% of the total cost of VL with one episode of VL representing 40% of the annual household income. More than 75% of households incurred catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditures. The length of treatment of 30 days led to important costs for both health providers and households. Alternative treatment regimens that reduce the duration of treatment are urgently needed.
Microsatellite markers were used to genetically characterize 19 Culex pipiens complex populations from California. Two populations showed characteristics of earlier genetic bottlenecks. The overall FST value and a neighbor-joining tree suggested moderate amounts of genetic differentiation. Analyses using Structure indicated K = 4 genetic clusters: Cx. pipiens form pipiens L., Cx. quinquefasciatus Say, Cx. pipiens form molestus Forskäl, and a group of genetically similar individuals of hybrid origin. A Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components indicated that the latter group is a mixture of the other three taxa, with form pipiens and form molestus contributing somewhat more ancestry than Cx. quinquefasciatus. Characterization of 56 morphologically autogenous individuals classified most as Cx. pipiens form molestus, and none as Cx. pipiens form pipiens or Cx. quinquefasciatus. Comparison of California microsatellite data with those of Cx. pipiens pallens Coquillett from Japan indicated the latter does not contribute significantly to genotypes in California.