Journal News Pouch - October 2016


  • Zika Virus
  • Yellow Fever
  • Avian Influenza  
  • Ebola 
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)
  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Emergencies and Disasters Journals


OpenZika: An IBM World Community Grid Project to Accelerate Zika Virus Drug Discovery
PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases, 20 Oct
The Zika virus outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern. To help accelerate this fight against Zika, we launched the OpenZika project.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Healthcare Needs during Zika Virus Transmission, Puerto Rico, 2016
EID, Nov 2016
To assist with public health preparedness activities, we estimated the number of expected cases of Zika virus in Puerto Rico and associated healthcare needs. Estimated annual incidence is 3.2–5.1 times the baseline, and long-term care needs are predicted to be 3–5 times greater than in years with no Zika virus.

Persistent Zika Virus Detection in Semen in a Traveler Returning to the United Kingdom from Brazil, 2016
EID, Nov 2016
Zika virus is normally transmitted by mosquitos, but cases of sexual transmission have been reported. We describe a patient with symptomatic Zika virus infection in whom the virus was detected in semen for 92 days. Our findings support recommendations for 6 months of barrier contraceptive use after symptomatic Zika virus infection.

Prolonged Detection of Zika Virus in Vaginal Secretions and Whole Blood
EID, Nov 2016
Infection with Zika virus is an emerging public health crisis. We observed prolonged detection of virus RNA in vaginal mucosal swab specimens and whole blood for a US traveler with acute Zika virus infection who had visited Honduras. These findings advance understanding of Zika virus infection and provide data for additional testing strategies.

Increased Hospitalizations for Neuropathies as Indicators of Zika Virus Infection, according to Health Information System Data, Brazil
EID, Nov 2016
Evidence is increasing that Zika virus can cause extensive damage to the central nervous system, affecting both fetuses and adults. We sought to identify traces of possible clinical manifestations of nervous system diseases among the registers of hospital admissions recorded in the Brazilian Unified Health System...

Early Growth and Neurologic Outcomes of Infants with Probable Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome
EID, Nov 2016
We report the early growth and neurologic findings of 48 infants in Brazil diagnosed with probable congenital Zika virus syndrome and followed to age 1–8 months. Most of these infants had microcephaly (86.7%) and craniofacial disproportion (95.8%). The clinical pattern included poor head growth with increasingly negative z-scores, pyramidal/extrapyramidal symptoms, and epilepsy.

Preparedness for Zika Virus Disease — New York City, 2016
CDC MMWR, Oct 2016
New York state has reported the highest number of Zika virus disease cases of any state in the continental United States, with 715 cases reported as of September 21, 2016. During April–July 2016, a total of 729 patients from NYC Health + Hospitals were tested for possible Zika virus infection via the organization’s Zika Preparedness and Response Action Plan.

Comparative genome analysis between Southeast Asian and South American Zika viruses
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Oct 2016
Phylogenetic analyses integrating geographical and time factors revealed that Southeast Asian ZIKV might not be the direct source of South American outbreaks as previously speculated. Amino acid residues unique to South American ZIKV isolates at the envelope, pr and NS1 proteins are listed and shown in the structural context.

Zika virus: A review of literature
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Oct 2016
Zika virus has two lineages: African and Asian. Mosquito-borne flaviviruses are thought to replicate initially in dendritic cells and then spread to lymph nodes and the blood stream.

Pushing Forward With Zika Vaccines
EBioMedicine, Oct 2016
The development of a safe and effective vaccine against Zika virus is a public health priority, however several challenges stand in our way. First, relatively little is known about Zika virus biology or immunity.

Infection of human uterine fibroblasts by Zika virus in vitro: implications for viral transmission in women
International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oct 2016
  • Human uterine fibroblasts are susceptible to Zika virus infection.
  • Both African and Puerto Rican Zika strains can infect human uterine fibroblasts.
  • A quantitative reverse transcription PCR with primers targeting the envelop regions of the virus was utilized.
  • Uterine fibroblasts continually produced virus, while maintaining cellular viability over 5 days.
  • Uterine fibroblasts may be linked with heterosexual transmission of Zika virus in women.

Higher incidence of Zika in adult women than adult men in Rio de Janeiro suggests a significant contribution of sexual transmission from men to women
International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oct 2016
Even after correcting for the bias due to the systematic testing of pregnant women for Zika, there were found to be 90% more registered cases per 100 000 women than men in the sexually active age group (15–65 years); this was not the case for age groups <15 years and >65 years.

Distinguishing between Zika and Spondweni viruses
WHO Bulletin, Oct 2016
The Spondweni serogroup includes Zika and Spondweni viruses. Both viruses have been historically misidentified and their diseases have been misdiagnosed due to their serological cross-reactivity and similar clinical presentations.



Vaccination against yellow fever in French Guiana: The impact of educational level, negative beliefs and attitude towards vaccination
Travel Med Infect Diseases, Oct 2016
Low level of education, negative beliefs and negative attitudes have significant impacts on YFVC. Negatives beliefs and attitudes result often from a major lack of information about the benefits of vaccination. This deficit is exacerbated in persons with low educational level.

Immunogenicity and safety of yellow fever vaccine (Stamaril) when administered concomitantly with a tetravalent dengue vaccine candidate in healthy toddlers at 12-13 months of age in Colombia and Peru: a randomized trial.
Pediatr Infect Dis Journal, Oct 2016
Conclusions: Concomitant administration of YF vaccine with CYD-TDV has no relevant impact on the immunogenicity or safety profile of the YF vaccine.

Reining in Angola’s yellow fever outbreak
WHO Bulletin, Oct 2016
Rosa Moreira is a medical epidemiologist at the Angolan health ministry. She is helping to coordinate the response to the yellow fever outbreak in Angola.


Herd Effect from Influenza Vaccination in Non-Healthcare Settings: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials and Observational Studies
Eurosurveillance, 20 Oct
Influenza is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Many countries recommend vaccination against influenza to prevent influenza infections, in particular for groups at high risk for complications.

Reassortant Eurasian Avian-Like Influenza A(H1N1) Virus from a Severely Ill Child, Hunan Province, China, 2015
EID, Nov 2016
In a mouse model, the reassortant virus, termed influenza A/Hunan/42443/2015(H1N1) virus, showed higher infectivity and virulence than another human EA-H1N1 isolate, influenza A/Jiangsu/1/2011(H1N1) virus. In the respiratory tract of mice, virus replication by influenza A/Hunan/42443/2015(H1N1) virus was substantially higher than that by influenza A/Jiangsu/1/2011(H1N1) virus. Human-to-human...

Outbreak of Influenza A(H3N2) Variant Virus Infections Among Persons Attending Agricultural Fairs Housing Infected Swine — Michigan and Ohio, July–August 2016
CDC MMWR, Oct 2016
Eighteen laboratory-confirmed infections with influenza A(H3N2) variant virus were reported among persons who had attended agricultural fairs in Michigan and Ohio during August 2016. All 18 patients reported exposure to swine.

Differences in the Epidemiology of Childhood Infections with Avian ...

PLoS ONE, Oct 2016

The difference between childhood infections with avian influenza viruses A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) remains an unresolved but critically important question. We compared the epidemiological characteristics of 244 H5N1 and 41 H7N9 childhood cases...


Seroevidence for High Prevalence of Subclinical Infection with Avian
JID Oxford, Oct 2016
This study provides evidence of a high prevalence of avian A(H5N1) virus infection in 2013 among workers of a live poultry market. However no instances of hospitalizations were reported, we can therefore conclude the virus did not manifest any clinical symptoms in workers.
Cross-Immunities against Avian Influenza H7N9 Virus in the Healthy
JID Oxford Journals, Oct 2016
The impact of antigenicity-dependent substitutions on cross-reactivity of T-cell immunity against the novel H7N9 virus in the healthy population benefits the understanding of immune evasion of influenza viruses and provides a useful reference for universal vaccine development.


Review Article: Influenza Transmission on Aircraft: A Systematic Literature Review.
PubMed, Sept 2016
We found an overall moderate quality of evidence for transmission of influenza virus aboard an aircraft. The major limiting factor was the comparability of the studies. A majority of secondary cases was identified at a greater distance than two rows from the index case....

Decreased effectiveness of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 strain in live attenuated influenza vaccines: an observational bias or a technical challenge? 
Eurosurveillance, Sept 2016
There are currently two types of approved influenza vaccines: inactivated or recombinant vaccines, and live attenuated vaccines. The live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) constructed on a backbone of an A/Leningrad virus strain into which the seasonal haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) selected for the vaccine were...

Improving influenza virological surveillance in Europe: strain-based reporting of antigenic and genetic characterisation data, 11 European countries, influenza season 2013/14
Eurosurveillance, Oct 2016
Influenza virological surveillance data, including characteristics of circulating viruses, are collected to describe the annual occurrence of influenza virus (sub)types and lineages for selection of vaccine components for the following season. Virological surveillance also supports epidemic and pandemic preparedness...


Hitting Ebola, to the Power of Two
Science, 21 Oct
Passive immunotherapy with therapeutic antibodies is one of the most promising treatments for Ebola virus infection. Despite disappointing initial results using single monoclonal antibodies, successful post-exposure protection in nonhuman primate models of Ebola virus infection was eventually achieved using "designer polyclonals" that mixed individual mAbs.


A Randomized, Controlled Trial of ZMapp for Ebola Virus Infection
NEJM, Oct 2016
Data from studies in nonhuman primates suggest that the triple monoclonal antibody cocktail ZMapp is a promising immune-based treatment for Ebola virus disease (EVD). ... Beginning in March 2015, we conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ZMapp plus the current standard of care as ...



The evolution of Ebola virus: Insights from the 2013–2016 epidemic
Nature, Oct 2016
The 2013–2016 epidemic of Ebola virus disease in West Africa was of unprecedented magnitude and changed our perspective on this lethal but sporadically ...


Characteristics and Outcomes of Pediatric Patients with Ebola Virus

CID Oxford Journals, Oct 2016
Of 122 children enrolled, median age was 7 years and one-third was younger than 5 years. The female-to-male ratio was 1.3. The most common clinical features at triage and during hospitalization were fever, weakness, anorexia and diarrhea, although 21% of patients were initially afebrile and 6 patients remained afebrile.
Diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease: Past, Present, and Future
CMR ASM, Oct 2016
Laboratory diagnosis of Ebola virus disease plays a critical role in outbreak response efforts; however, establishing safe and expeditious testing strategies for this high-biosafety-level pathogen in resource-poor environments remains extremely challenging.


The critical care response to a hospital outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection: an observational study

7thSpace Interactive, 25 Oct
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused several hospital outbreaks, including a major outbreak at King Abdulaziz Medical City, ...

Risk Factors for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection among Healthcare Personnel
EID, Nov 2016
Healthcare settings can amplify transmission of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), but knowledge gaps about the epidemiology of transmission remain. We conducted a retrospective cohort study among healthcare personnel in hospital units that treated MERS-CoV patients.

Exposures among MERS Case-Patients, Saudi Arabia, January–February 2016
EID, Nov 2016
Through telephone interviews of case-patients and information from routine investigations, we aimed to characterize exposures and to explore additional factors potentially important in disease transmission. We also genetically sequenced MERS-CoV from respiratory specimens to identify circulating strains.


Multidrug-Resistant Corynebacterium striatum Associated with Increased Use of Parenteral Antimicrobial Drugs
EID, Nov 2016
Corynebacterium striatum
is an emerging multidrug-resistant bacteria. We retrospectively identified 179 isolates in a clinical database. Clinical relevance, in vitro susceptibility, and length of parenteral antimicrobial drug use were obtained from patient records. For patients with hardware- or device-associated infections, those with C. striatum infections were matched with patients infected with coagulase-negative staphylococci for case–control analysis.

Increased Community-Associated Infections Caused by Panton-Valentine Leukocidin–Negative MRSA, Shanghai, 2005–2014
EID, Nov 2016
During 2005–2014, community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections increased in Shanghai, China. Most infections were caused by sequence type 59 S. aureus that lacked Panton-Valentine leukocidin. This finding challenges the notion that Panton-Valentine leukocidin is necessary for epidemiologic success of community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus.

Letter: Shigella flexneri with Ciprofloxacin Resistance and Reduced Azithromycin Susceptibility, Canada, 2015
EID, Nov 2016
In September, the 53-year-old man consulted his physician at an outpatient clinic after experiencing abdominal pain, fatigue, and diarrhea without blood in stools or fever.


PLoS via PreventionWeb, 23 Oct
An increasing number of international emergency medical teams are deployed to assist disaster-affected populations worldwide. Since Haiti earthquake those teams have been criticised for ill adapted care, lack of preparedness in addition to not coordinating with the affected country healthcare system.

Impact of El Niño Southern Oscillation on infectious disease hospitalization risk in the United States
PNAS, Oct 2016
Although the global climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, links between weather and infectious disease have received little attention in high income countries. The “El Niño Southern Oscillation” (ENSO) occurs irregularly and is associated with changing temperature and precipitation patterns. We studied the impact of ENSO on infectious diseases in four census regions in the United States.

A laboratory in your pocket
The Lancet, Oct 2016
Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death, especially among children in low-income and middle-income countries. Rapid, point-of-care (POC) identification of pathogens could help efforts to control and manage infectious diseases. For most infections, specimen collection and testing is limited to formal medical and laboratory settings.


Gender-sensitive public health risks and vulnerabilities’ assessment with reference to floods in Pakistan
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 
Disasters are not discriminatory but affect every one of us irrespective of our age, gender, religion or any other determinant. However, women tend to feel the greater brunt of disaster consequences. It is a need of the day to examine why women are more vulnerable and at a great risk during disasters. In this regard, we conducted this study to assess public health risks and vulnerabilities in the context of floods through gender perspective.

See more at:  International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 

Health sector readiness for patient tracking in disaster: A literature review on concepts and patterns
International Journal of Health System and Disaster Management
Identification and tracking of natural disaster's victims is a vital role to collect important information and facilitate communication in a timely manner which helps to address patients' medical needs, reduce duplication activities for them. Also classification and distribution of this information among health officials and institutions is a national necessity.

See more at:  International Journal of Health System and Disaster Management

This article is based on the first experience of the author as an expatriate nurse working with an international non-governmental organization (NGO) in a war zone and displaced situation. The article will focus on implementation of triage and patient flow systems in Primary Health and Emergency clinics inside Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

See more at:  Journal of Emergency Nursing/Disaster Management  and Response

First EDition: Zika—Not the Only Mosquito-Borne Virus to Worry About
As the spread of the Zika virus continues to garner attention in the national spotlight, two other mosquito-borne viral...

See more at: Emergency Medicine