RSS news feeds

Error message

  • Warning: date_timezone_set() expects parameter 1 to be DateTime, boolean given in format_date() (line 2040 of /home/bizmesol/public_html/prod/drupal-7/includes/common.inc).
  • Warning: date_format() expects parameter 1 to be DateTime, boolean given in format_date() (line 2050 of /home/bizmesol/public_html/prod/drupal-7/includes/common.inc).

Isolation of dengue virus from the upper respiratory tract of four patients with dengue fever

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 5 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Nai-Ming Cheng, Bao-Chen Chen, Tsi-Shu Huang, Cheng Len Sy, Susan Shin-Jung Lee, Yao-Shen Chen

Background

Dengue fever is an important arboviral disease. The clinical manifestations vary from a mild non-specific febrile syndrome to severe life-threatening illness. The virus can usually be detected in the blood during the early stages of the disease. Dengue virus has also has been found in isolated cases in the cerebrospinal fluid, urine, nasopharyngeal sections and saliva. In this report, we describe the isolation of dengue virus from the upper respiratory tract of four confirmed cases of dengue.

Methods

We reviewed all laboratory reports of the isolation of dengue virus from respiratory specimens at the clinical microbiology laboratory of the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital during 2007 to 2015. We then examined the medical records of the cases from whom the virus was isolated to determine their demographic characteristics, family contacts, clinical signs and symptoms, course of illness and laboratory findings.

Results

Dengue virus was identified in four patients from a nasopharyngeal or throat culture. Two were classified as group A dengue (dengue without warning signs), one as group B (dengue with warning signs) and one as group C (severe dengue). All had respiratory symptoms. Half had family members with similar respiratory symptoms during the period of their illnesses. All of the patients recovered uneventfully.

Conclusions

The isolation of dengue virus from respiratory specimens of patients with cough, rhinorrhea and nasal congestion, although rare, raises the possibility that the virus is capable of transmission by the aerosol route among close contacts. This concept is supported by studies that show that the virus can replicate in cultures of respiratory epithelium and can be transmitted through mucocutaneous exposure to blood from infected patients. However, current evidence is insufficient to prove the hypothesis of transmission through the respiratory route. Further studies will be needed to determine the frequency of respiratory colonization, viable virus titers in respiratory secretions and molecular genetic evidence of transmission among close contacts.

Risk factors for therapeutic failure to meglumine antimoniate and miltefosine in adults and children with cutaneous leishmaniasis in Colombia: A cohort study

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 5 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Maria del Mar Castro, Alexandra Cossio, Carlos Velasco, Lyda Osorio

Introduction

Reports of therapeutic failure to meglumine antimoniate (MA) and miltefosine in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) varies between species, populations and geographic regions. This study aimed to determine the clinical, drug-related factors, and Leishmania species associated with treatment failure in children and adults with cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Methods

A cohort study was performed with children (2–12 years old) and adults (18–65 years old) with CL, who have participated in clinical studies at CIDEIM Cali, Tumaco and Chaparral. Incidence of therapeutic failure was estimated by treatment and age groups. Descriptive, bivariate, and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed for the complete cohort and pediatric patients.

Results

Two hundred and thirty patients were included (miltefosine: 112; MA: 118), of which 60.4% were children and 83.9% were infected with L.V. panamensis. Overall incidence of therapeutic failure was 15.65% (95%CI: 10.92–20.38), and was lower for miltefosine than for MA (8.92%, 95%CI: 3.59–14.26 versus 22.03%, 95%CI:14.48–29.58, p = 0.006). Treatment failure was associated with age ≤8 years (OR: 3.29; 95%CI: 1.37–7.89), disease duration ≤1 month (OR: 3.29; 95%CI: 1.37–7.89), regional lymphadenopathy (OR: 2.72; 95%CI: 1.10–6.70), treatment with MA (OR: 3.98; 95%CI: 1.66–9.50), and adherence <90% (OR: 3.59; 95%CI: 1.06–12.11). In children, higher Z-score of height/age was a protective factor (OR: 0.58; 95%CI: 0.36–0.93), while treatment with MA was a risk factor (OR: 40.82; 95%CI: 2.45–677.85), demonstrating significant interaction with age (p = 0.03).

Conclusions

Clinical and drug-related factors determine therapeutic failure in CL. High risk of failure in children treated with MA indicates the need to reconsider this drug as first line treatment in this population.

Trial registration

Clinical trial registration: NCT00487253Clinical trial registration: NCT01462500Clinical trial registration: NCT01464242

Unraveling Chagas disease transmission through the oral route: Gateways to <i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i> infection and target tissues

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 5 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Danielle Silva-dos-Santos, Juliana Barreto-de-Albuquerque, Bárbara Guerra, Otacilio C. Moreira, Luiz Ricardo Berbert, Mariana Tavares Ramos, Barbara Angelica S. Mascarenhas, Constança Britto, Alexandre Morrot, Déa M. Serra Villa-Verde, Luciana Ribeiro Garzoni, Wilson Savino, Vinícius Cotta-de-Almeida, Juliana de Meis

Oral transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is the most important route of infection in Brazilian Amazon and Venezuela. Other South American countries have also reported outbreaks associated with food consumption. A recent study showed the importance of parasite contact with oral cavity to induce a highly severe acute disease in mice. However, it remains uncertain the primary site of parasite entry and multiplication due to an oral infection. Here, we evaluated the presence of T. cruzi Dm28c luciferase (Dm28c-luc) parasites in orally infected mice, by bioluminescence and quantitative real-time PCR. In vivo bioluminescent images indicated the nasomaxillary region as the site of parasite invasion in the host, becoming consistently infected throughout the acute phase. At later moments, 7 and 21 days post-infection (dpi), luminescent signal is denser in the thorax, abdomen and genital region, because of parasite dissemination in different tissues. Ex vivo analysis demonstrated that the nasomaxillary region, heart, mandibular lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain, epididymal fat associated to male sex organs, salivary glands, cheek muscle, mesenteric fat and lymph nodes, stomach, esophagus, small and large intestine are target tissues at latter moments of infection. In the same line, amastigote nests of Dm28c GFP T. cruzi were detected in the nasal cavity of 6 dpi mice. Parasite quantification by real-time qPCR at 7 and 21 dpi showed predominant T. cruzi detection and expansion in mouse nasal cavity. Moreover, T. cruzi DNA was also observed in the mandibular lymph nodes, pituitary gland, heart, liver, small intestine and spleen at 7 dpi, and further, disseminated to other tissues, such as the brain, stomach, esophagus and large intestine at 21 dpi. Our results clearly demonstrated that oral cavity and adjacent compartments is the main target region in oral T. cruzi infection leading to parasite multiplication at the nasal cavity.

The novel nematicide wact-86 interacts with aldicarb to kill nematodes

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 5 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Andrew R. Burns, Rachel Bagg, May Yeo, Genna M. Luciani, Michael Schertzberg, Andy G. Fraser, Peter J. Roy

Parasitic nematodes negatively impact human and animal health worldwide. The market withdrawal of nematicidal agents due to unfavourable toxicities has limited the available treatment options. In principle, co-administering nematicides at lower doses along with molecules that potentiate their activity could mitigate adverse toxicities without compromising efficacy. Here, we screened for new small molecules that interact with aldicarb, which is a highly effective treatment for plant-parasitic nematodes whose toxicity hampers its utility. From our collection of 638 worm-bioactive compounds, we identified 20 molecules that interact positively with aldicarb to either kill or arrest the growth of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We investigated the mechanism of interaction between aldicarb and one of these novel nematicides called wact-86. We found that the carboxylesterase enzyme GES-1 hydrolyzes wact-86, and that the interaction is manifested by aldicarb’s inhibition of wact-86’s metabolism by GES-1. This work demonstrates the utility of C. elegans as a platform to search for new molecules that can positively interact with industrial nematicides, and provides proof-of-concept for prospective discovery efforts.

Rapid mapping of urinary schistosomiasis: An appraisal of the diagnostic efficacy of some questionnaire-based indices among high school students in Katsina State, northwestern Nigeria

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Tolulope Ebenezer Atalabi, Taiwo Oluwakemi Adubi, Umar Lawal

Background

In sub-Saharan Africa, over 200 million individuals are estimated to be infected with urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis. In a bid to lay a foundation for effective future control programme, this study was carried out with the aim of assessing the diagnostic efficacy of some questionnaire-based rapid assessment indices of urinary schistosomiasis.

Methodology

A total number of 1,363 subjects were enrolled for the study. Questionnaires were administered basically in English and Hausa languages by trained personnel. Following informed consent, terminal urine samples were collected between 09:40 AM and 2:00 PM using clean 20 ml capacity universal bottles. 10μl of each urine residue was examined for the eggs of S. haematobium using x10 objective nose of Motic Binocular Light Microscope (China).

Principal findings

The average age ± Standard Deviation (SD) of school children examined was 15.30 ± 2.30 years and 40.87% were females. The overall prevalence and geometric mean intensity of S. haematobium infection were 26.41% (24.10─28.85) and 6.59 (5.59─7.75) eggs / 10 ml of urine respectively. Interestingly, a questionnaire equivalence of the prevalence obtained in this survey was 26.41% (24.10─28.85) for Rapid Assessment Procedure based on self-reported blood in urine. The results of correlation analyses demonstrated significant associations between the prevalence of S. haematobium infection and contact with potentially infested open water sources (r = 0.741; P = 0.006). By regression model, cases of respondents with self-reported blood in urine are expected to rise to 24.75% if prevalence of the infection shoots up to 26.5%.

Conclusions/Significance

The best RAP performance was obtained with self-reported blood in urine. Based on the overall prevalence value, the study area was at a “moderate-risk” of endemicity for urinary schistosomiasis. Chemotherapeutic intervention with Praziquantel, the rationale behind rapid assessment procedure for schistosomiasis, has been recommended to be carried out once in every 2 years for such communities.

Defining the next generation of <i>Plasmodium vivax</i> diagnostic tests for control and elimination: Target product profiles

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Xavier C. Ding, Maria Paz Ade, J. Kevin Baird, Qin Cheng, Jane Cunningham, Mehul Dhorda, Chris Drakeley, Ingrid Felger, Dionicia Gamboa, Matthias Harbers, Socrates Herrera, Naomi Lucchi, Alfredo Mayor, Ivo Mueller, Jetsumon Sattabongkot, Arsène Ratsimbason, Jack Richards, Marcel Tanner, Iveth J. González

The global prevalence of malaria has decreased over the past fifteen years, but similar gains have not been realized against Plasmodium vivax because this species is less responsive to conventional malaria control interventions aimed principally at P. falciparum. Approximately half of all malaria cases outside of Africa are caused by P. vivax. This species places dormant forms in human liver that cause repeated clinical attacks without involving another mosquito bite. The diagnosis of acute patent P. vivax malaria relies primarily on light microscopy. Specific rapid diagnostic tests exist but typically perform relatively poorly compared to those for P. falciparum. Better diagnostic tests are needed for P. vivax. To guide their development, FIND, in collaboration with P. vivax experts, identified the specific diagnostic needs associated with this species and defined a series of three distinct target product profiles, each aimed at a particular diagnostic application: (i) point-of-care of acutely ill patients for clinical care purposes; (ii) point-of-care asymptomatic and otherwise sub-patent residents for public health purposes, e.g., mass screen and treat campaigns; and (iii) ultra-sensitive not point-of-care diagnosis for epidemiological research/surveillance purposes. This report presents and discusses the rationale for these P. vivax-specific diagnostic target product profiles. These contribute to the rational development of fit-for-purpose diagnostic tests suitable for use the clinical management, control and elimination of P. vivax malaria.

Rapid diagnostic tests duo as alternative to conventional serological assays for conclusive Chagas disease diagnosis

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Karina E. Egüez, Julio Alonso-Padilla, Carolina Terán, Zenobia Chipana, Wilson García, Faustino Torrico, Joaquín Gascón, Daniel Lozano, María-Jesús Pinazo

Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. It affects several million people, mainly in Latin America, and severe cardiac and/or digestive complications occur in ~30% of the chronically infected patients. Disease acute stage is mostly asymptomatic and infection goes undiagnosed. In the chronic phase direct parasite detection is hampered due to its concealed presence and diagnosis is achieved by serological methods, like ELISA or indirect hemagglutination assays. Agreement in at least two tests must be obtained due to parasite wide antigenic variability. These techniques require equipped labs and trained personnel and are not available in distant regions. As a result, many infected people often remain undiagnosed until it is too late, as the two available chemotherapies show diminished efficacy in the advanced chronic stage. Easy-to-use rapid diagnostic tests have been developed to be implemented in remote areas as an alternative to conventional tests. They do not need electricity, nor cold chain, they can return results within an hour and some even work with whole blood as sample, like Chagas Stat-Pak (ChemBio Inc.) and Chagas Detect Plus (InBIOS Inc.). Nonetheless, in order to qualify a rapidly diagnosed positive patient for treatment, conventional serological confirmation is obligatory, which might risk its start. In this study two rapid tests based on distinct antigen sets were used in parallel as a way to obtain a fast and conclusive Chagas disease diagnosis using whole blood samples. Chagas Stat-Pak and Chagas Detect Plus were validated by comparison with three conventional tests yielding 100% sensitivity and 99.3% specificity over 342 patients seeking Chagas disease diagnosis in a reference centre in Sucre (Bolivia). Combined used of RDTs in distant regions could substitute laborious conventional serology, allowing immediate treatment and favouring better adhesion to it.

Reaching endpoints for lymphatic filariasis elimination- results from mass drug administration and nocturnal blood surveys, South Gujarat, India

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Anjali Modi, Sukesha Gamit, Bharat S. Jesalpura, George Kurien, Jayendra K. Kosambiya

Background

Following the World Health Assembly resolution on Elimination of lymphatic filariasis (ELF) as a public health problem by the year 2020, a Global Program (GPELF) was launched in 1997 to help endemic countries to initiate national programs. The current strategy to interrupt transmission of LF, is administration of once-yearly, single-dose, two-drug regimen (Albendazole with Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) to be used in endemic areas with the goal of reaching 65% epidemiological coverage for 4–6 years. We report findings of independent assessment from year 2010 to 2015 for last six rounds, after initial five rounds of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) since 2005 for ELF in endemic area of Gujarat.

Methods

Independent assessment of MDA was performed to find coverage and compliance indicators, reasons for non-coverage and non-compliance in five Implementation Units (IUs). Pre, during and post MDA evaluations were done in three phases. The impact of MDA was measured by microfilaraemia survey. A total of eight sites, four random and four fixed sentinel sites were selected to calculate microfilaria rate (MF) per IUs per year. In years 2010 to 2015, we report results from 125,936 nocturnal blood smears and 17,405 population in 120 selected clusters. Four clusters were selected per year in each of the five IUs for assessment of MDA round.

Result

Post MDA survey showed drug coverage between 81%-88% and epidemiological coverage 77%-89% across years. Main reasons for non-coverage were drug administrator related (the team did not visit or missed people) while non-compliance was population related (fear of side effects, sickness, people forgot or absent). During MDA findings show that the directly observed consumption is considerably improved from 58% in 2010 to 82% in 2015. The knowledge about benefits of drug provided also increased from 59% to 90% over the years. The current MF rate is less than one in all IUs with an overall 68% percent decrease from baseline year 2005 to year 2015. The average MF rate of Gujarat is 0.44 for year 2015.

Conclusions

The findings show that achieving adequate epidemiological and drug coverage is possible by actual field level operation of the program in large endemic areas. The results and feedback from independent assessment, performed regularly, could guide the policymakers and program managers for mid-term corrections and to frame strategies to enhance program. Monitoring of coverage and impact indicator together informs decisions for reaching end-point of MDA. The impact indicator- microfilaria rate in all IUs of South Gujarat Region has reached and remained less than one percent signaling end-points of MDA. Post MDA stringent monitoring in form of TAS is recommended to keep vigil on maintenance of elimination achieved.

Socioeconomic and environmental determinants of dengue transmission in an urban setting: An ecological study in Nouméa, New Caledonia

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Raphaël M. Zellweger, Jorge Cano, Morgan Mangeas, François Taglioni, Alizé Mercier, Marc Despinoy, Christophe E. Menkès, Myrielle Dupont-Rouzeyrol, Birgit Nikolay, Magali Teurlai

Background

Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that causes extensive morbidity and economic loss in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Often present in cities, dengue virus is rapidly spreading due to urbanization, climate change and increased human movements. Dengue cases are often heterogeneously distributed throughout cities, suggesting that small-scale determinants influence dengue urban transmission. A better understanding of these determinants is crucial to efficiently target prevention measures such as vector control and education. The aim of this study was to determine which socioeconomic and environmental determinants were associated with dengue incidence in an urban setting in the Pacific.

Methodology

An ecological study was performed using data summarized by neighborhood (i.e. the neighborhood is the unit of analysis) from the last two dengue epidemics (2008–2009 and 2012–2013) in the city of Nouméa, the capital of New Caledonia. Spatial patterns and hotspots of dengue transmission were assessed using global and local Moran’s I statistics. Multivariable negative binomial regression models were used to investigate the association between dengue incidence and various socioeconomic and environmental factors throughout the city.

Principal findings

The 2008–2009 epidemic was spatially structured, with clusters of high and low incidence neighborhoods. In 2012–2013, dengue incidence rates were more homogeneous throughout the city. In all models tested, higher dengue incidence rates were consistently associated with lower socioeconomic status (higher unemployment, lower revenue or higher percentage of population born in the Pacific, which are interrelated). A higher percentage of apartments was associated with lower dengue incidence rates during both epidemics in all models but one. A link between vegetation coverage and dengue incidence rates was also detected, but the link varied depending on the model used.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates a robust spatial association between dengue incidence rates and socioeconomic status across the different neighborhoods of the city of Nouméa. Our findings provide useful information to guide policy and help target dengue prevention efforts where they are needed most.

An inter- laboratory proficiency testing exercise for rabies diagnosis in Latin America and the Caribbean

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Alfonso Clavijo, Mary H. Freire de Carvalho, Lillian A. Orciari, Andres Velasco-Villa, James Ellison, Lauren Greenberg, Pamela A. Yager, Douglas B. Green, Marco A. Vigilato, Ottorino Cosivi, Victor J. Del Rio-Vilas

The direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA), is performed in all rabies reference laboratories across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Despite DFA being a critical capacity in the control of rabies, there is not a standardized protocol in the region. We describe the results of the first inter-laboratory proficiency exercise of national rabies laboratories in LAC countries as part of the regional efforts towards dog-maintained rabies elimination in the American region. Twenty three laboratories affiliated to the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Agriculture participated in this exercise. In addition, the laboratories completed an online questionnaire to assess laboratory practices. Answers to the online questionnaire indicated large variability in the laboratories throughput, equipment used, protocols availability, quality control standards and biosafety requirements. Our results will inform actions to improve and harmonize laboratory rabies capacities across LAC in support for the regional efforts towards elimination of dog-maintained rabies.

Pulmonary shunts in severe hepatosplenic schistosomiasis: Diagnosis by contrast echocardiography and their relationship with abdominal ultrasound findings

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases News - 3 April 2017 - 9:00pm

by Liana Gonçalves-Macedo, Ana Lucia Coutinho Domingues, Edmundo Pessoa Lopes, Carlos Feitosa Luna, Vitor Gomes Mota, Mônica Morais de Chaves Becker, Brivaldo Markman-Filho

Background

Schistosomiasis is endemic to several parts of the world. Among the species that affect humans, Schistosoma mansoni is one of the most common causes of illness. In regions where schistosomiasis mansoni is endemic, reinfection is responsible for the emergence of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis (HSS) with portal hypertension in about 10% of infected individuals. Regardless of its etiology, portal hypertension may bring about the formation of arteriovenous fistulas and pulmonary vascular dilation, thus constituting a pulmonary shunt and its presence has been associated with the occurrence of neurological complications. The objective of this study was to identify pulmonary shunt using TTCE in patients with HSS and esophageal varices, and to compare the abdominal ultrasound and endoscopy findings among patients with and without pulmonary shunt.

Methodology/Principal findings

In this case series, a total of 461 patients with schistosomiasis mansoni were prospectively evaluated using abdominal ultrasound and endoscopy and 71 presented with HSS with esophageal varices. Fifty seven patients remained in the final analysis. The mean age of the patients was 55 ± 14 years, and 65% were female. Pulmonary shunts were observed in 19 (33.3%) patients. On comparing the groups with and without pulmonary shunt, no significant differences were observed in relation to the abdominal ultrasound and endoscopic findings. When comparing the two subgroups with pulmonary shunts (grade 1 vs grades 2 and 3), it was observed that the subgroup with shunt grades 2 and 3 presented with a significantly higher frequency of an enlarged splenic vein diameter (>0.9 cm), and an advanced pattern of periportal hepatic fibrosis (P = 0.041 and P = 0.005, respectively). None of the patients with pulmonary shunts had severe neurological complications.

Conclusions/Significance

Our findings suggest that in HSS with esophageal varices the pulmonary shunts may be present in higher grades and that in this condition it was associated with ultrasound findings compatible with advanced HSS.

Pages