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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: Rabies Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prophylaxis, and Treatment
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 59; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040059
Received: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
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Abstract
Rabies is an acute, progressive, incurable viral encephalitis found throughout the world. Despite being one of the oldest recognized pathogens, its impact remains substantial in public health, veterinary medicine, and conservation biology.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Poverty, Dietary Intake, Intestinal Parasites, and Nutritional Status among School-Age Children in the Rural Philippines
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 49; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040049
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Intestinal helminths are endemic throughout the Philippines; however, there is limited evidence with respect to their prevalence, intensity, and impact on children’s nutritional status. A cross-sectional survey was carried out on 693 children from five rural villages in Northern Samar, the Philippines. Data
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Intestinal helminths are endemic throughout the Philippines; however, there is limited evidence with respect to their prevalence, intensity, and impact on children’s nutritional status. A cross-sectional survey was carried out on 693 children from five rural villages in Northern Samar, the Philippines. Data on dietary intake, nutritional status, and intestinal parasites were collected. Infection with Schistosoma japonicum, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm was evident in 20.1, 54.4, 71.4, and 25.3% of the children. The majority (84.7%) was infected with one or more helminth species, with about one-quarter of the sample (24.7%) infected with three or more. About half (49.2%, n = 341) of the children were stunted and 27.8% (n = 193) were wasted. A lower prevalence of normal height-for-age (48.3%) appeared in those with polyparasitism, while the prevalence of stunted children increased with infection (46.7% monoparasitism and 51.7% polyparasitism). There was a decreasing trend between infection intensity and the mean values of HAZ and BAZ identified for T. trichiura or hookworm infections. Stunted children were more likely to be male (AOR = 1.58; 95% CI: 1.05–2.39; p = 0.028), older in age (10–14 years) (AOR = 1.93; 95% CI: 1.29–2.88; p = 0.001), and living in poorer households with palm leaves/nipa roof (AOR = 1.85; 95% CI: 1.14–3.01; p = 0.013). Intestinal parasitic treatment needs to be combined with nutrient supplements and health education in order to interrupt the parasite life cycle and achieve sustainable control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lymphatic Filariasis Increases Tissue Compressibility and Extracellular Fluid in Lower Limbs of Asymptomatic Young People in Central Myanmar
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 50; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040050
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
When normal lymphatic function is hampered, imperceptible subcutaneous edema can develop and progress to overt lymphedema. Low-cost reliable devices for objective assessment of lymphedema are well accepted in clinical practice and research on breast-cancer related lymphedema but are untested in populations with lymphatic
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When normal lymphatic function is hampered, imperceptible subcutaneous edema can develop and progress to overt lymphedema. Low-cost reliable devices for objective assessment of lymphedema are well accepted in clinical practice and research on breast-cancer related lymphedema but are untested in populations with lymphatic filariasis (LF). This is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data in a longitudinal study on asymptomatic, LF antigen-positive and -negative young people in Myanmar. Rapid field screening was used to identify antigen-positive cases and a group of antigen-negative controls of similar age and gender were invited to continue in the study. Tissue compressibility was assessed with three tissue tonometers, and free fluids were assessed using bio-impedance spectroscopy (BIS). Infection status was confirmed by Og4C3 antigen assay. At baseline (n = 98), antigen-positive cases had clinically relevant increases in tissue compressibility at the calf using a digital Indurometer (11.1%, p = 0.021), and in whole-leg free fluid using BIS (9.2%, p = 0.053). Regression analysis for moderating factors (age, gender, hydration) reinforced the between-infection group differences. Results demonstrate that sub-clinical changes associated with infection can be detected in asymptomatic cases. Further exploration of these low-cost devices in clinical and research settings on filariasis-related lymphedema are warranted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Soil-Transmitted Helminths in Children in a Remote Aboriginal Community in the Northern Territory: Hookworm is Rare but Strongyloides stercoralis and Trichuris trichiura Persist
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 51; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040051
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: soil-transmitted helminths are a problem worldwide, largely affecting disadvantaged populations. The little data available indicates high rates of infection in some remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. Studies of helminths were carried out in the same remote community in the Northern Territory
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(1) Background: soil-transmitted helminths are a problem worldwide, largely affecting disadvantaged populations. The little data available indicates high rates of infection in some remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. Studies of helminths were carried out in the same remote community in the Northern Territory in 1994–1996 and 2010–2011; (2) Methods: fecal samples were collected from children aged <10 years and examined for helminths by direct smear microscopy. In the 2010–2011 study, some fecal samples were also analyzed by agar plate culture and PCR for Strongyloides stercoralis DNA. Serological analysis of fingerprick dried blood spots using a S. stercoralis NIE antigen was also conducted; (3) Results and Conclusions: a reduction in fecal samples positive for S. stercoralis, hookworm and Trichuris trichiura was seen between the studies in 1994–1996 and 2010–2011, likely reflecting public health measures undertaken in the region to reduce intestinal helminths. Comparison of methods to detect S. stercoralis showed that PCR of fecal samples and serological testing of dried blood spots was at least as sensitive as direct smear microscopy and agar plate culture. These methods have advantages for use in remote field studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Infection of Rodents by Orientia tsutsugamushi, the Agent of Scrub Typhus in Relation to Land Use in Thailand
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 53; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040053
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 4 October 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
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Abstract
The relationship between land use structures and occurrence of scrub typhus agent, Orientia tsutsugamushi infection in small wild mammals was conducted in three provinces of Thailand: Buriram, Loei, and Nan. Orientia tsutsugamushi detection was performed using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) amplicon sequencing approach
[...] Read more.
The relationship between land use structures and occurrence of scrub typhus agent, Orientia tsutsugamushi infection in small wild mammals was conducted in three provinces of Thailand: Buriram, Loei, and Nan. Orientia tsutsugamushi detection was performed using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) amplicon sequencing approach using Miseq Illumina platform. In total, 387 animals (rodents and shrews) were examined for the bacterium infection. The 16S rDNA sequences of the bacterium were found in nine animals from Bandicota savilei, Berylmys bowersi, Leopoldamys edwardsi, Rattus exulans, R. tanezumi, and Rattus sp. phylogenetic clade 3, yielding 2.3% infection rate, with two new rodent species infected by the bacterium in Thailand: B. bowersi and L. edwardsi. Using a Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) and Random Forest analyses for investigating the association between human-land use and occurrence of the bacterium, forest habitat appeared as a strong explicative variable of rodent infection, meaning that O. tsutsugamushi-infected animals were more likely found in forest-covered habitats. In terms of public health implementation, our results suggest that heterogenous forested areas including forest-converted agricultural land, reforestation areas, or fallow are potential habitats for O. tsutsugamushi transmission. Further understanding of population dynamics of the vectors and their hosts in these habitats could be beneficial for the prevention of this neglected zoonotic disease. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Promoting Scientific Transparency to Facilitate the Safe and Open International Exchange of Biological Materials and Electronic Data
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 57; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040057
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Scientific communication, collaboration and progress are enhanced through the exchange of data, materials and ideas. Recent advances in technology, commercial proprietary discovery and current local and global events (e.g., emerging human, animal and plant disease outbreaks) have increased the demand, and shortened optimal
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Scientific communication, collaboration and progress are enhanced through the exchange of data, materials and ideas. Recent advances in technology, commercial proprietary discovery and current local and global events (e.g., emerging human, animal and plant disease outbreaks) have increased the demand, and shortened optimal timelines for material and data exchange, both domestically and internationally. Specific circumstances in each case, such as the type of material being transferred (i.e., select agent, disease-causing agent and assessed biosafety risk level) and current events, dictate the level of agreements and requirements. Recent lessons learned from emerging disease issues and emergencies have demonstrated that human engagement and increased science diplomacy are needed to reinforce and sustain biosafety and biosecurity practices and processes, for better scientific transparency. A reasonable and accepted framework of guidance for open sharing of data and materials is needed that can be applied on multiple cooperative levels, including global and national. Although numerous agreement variations already exist for the exchange of materials and data, regulations to guide the development of both the language and implementation of such agreements are limited. Without such regulations, scientific exchange is often restricted, limiting opportunities for international capacity building, collaboration and cooperation. In this article, we present and discuss several international case histories that illustrate the complex nature of scientific exchange. Recommendations are made for a dual bottom-up and top-down approach that includes all stakeholders from beginning negotiation stages to emphasize trust and cooperation. The broader aim of this approach is to increase international scientific transparency and trust in a safe and open manner, supporting increased global one health security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Open AccessArticle Schistosoma mansoni-Associated Morbidity among Preschool-Aged Children along the Shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 58; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040058
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 5 November 2017
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Abstract
Schistosoma mansoni causes morbidity in human beings, with the highest prevalence in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Prolonged S. mansoni infection with egg deposition in intestinal blood vessels leads to liver and spleen enlargement, and thus chronic morbidity. The objective of this study was to
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Schistosoma mansoni causes morbidity in human beings, with the highest prevalence in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Prolonged S. mansoni infection with egg deposition in intestinal blood vessels leads to liver and spleen enlargement, and thus chronic morbidity. The objective of this study was to assess whether preschool-aged children develop severe S. mansoni-related morbidity. Parasitological, clinical, and ultrasonographic examinations were carried out in 916 preschool-aged children in five schistosomiasis-endemic districts (Bugiri, Buikwe, Jinja, Mayuge, and Namayingo) along the Lake Victoria shoreline in east-central Uganda. Anaemia and anthropometry measurements were also taken. Using the Kato-Katz technique on one stool sample collected on three consecutive days, 74.9% (686/916) were found infected with S. mansoni; the majority were lightly infected (57.9%), while 22.7% and 19.4% were moderately and heavily infected, respectively. The overall geometric mean intensity (GMI) of infected children was 294.2 eggs per gram faeces. Mayuge and Jinja districts had the highest (51.2%) and lowest (2.2%) number of infected children, respectively. Hookworm infection was found in 7.8% (71/916) of the children. Both liver and spleen were significantly more enlarged in the infected children than in the uninfected children (p < 0.0005), as measured by ultrasonography. Physical palpation of the spleen was more often detected in the uninfected children. A significantly (p < 0.0005) higher proportion of S. mansoni-positive children were anaemic (359/686; 52.3%) compared to the children who had no eggs in their stool samples (81/230; 35.2%). Schistosoma mansoni infection did not have any severe effect on the nutrition status of preschool-aged children. Neither infected nor uninfected children were found to be underweight or stunted. Liver fibrosis with distinct Symmer’s ‘pipe stems’ was found in a few heavily-infected children (0.3%). In a linear multivariable regression analysis, age of the child, anaemia, liver fibrosis, and size of the left liver lobe were associated with S. mansoni intensity of infection (adjusted R2 = 0.11; p < 0.0005). Our results demonstrate that S. mansoni-related morbidity does develop in children less than six years of age, and that older children (37–60 months) are at higher risk (regression coefficient 0.33; p <0.0005) compared to younger ones (12–36 months). We recommend that preschool-aged children be included in the target population for schistosomiasis mass treatment so as to prevent the childhood chronic form of schistosomiasis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Survey of Intestinal Parasites of Domestic Dogs in Central Queensland
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 60; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040060
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
Australia has a very high rate of dog ownership, which in some circumstances may lead to exposure to zoonotic parasitic diseases from those companion animals. Domestic dog faecal samples (n = 300) were collected from public spaces and private property in the
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Australia has a very high rate of dog ownership, which in some circumstances may lead to exposure to zoonotic parasitic diseases from those companion animals. Domestic dog faecal samples (n = 300) were collected from public spaces and private property in the greater Rockhampton (Central Queensland) region and tested for intestinal helminths and protozoa by direct microscopy, two flotation methods and a modified acid-fast stain for cryptosporidia. Intestinal parasites detected included hookworms (25%), Cystoisospora ohioensis complex (9%), Blastocystis hominis (3%), Giardia duodenalis (3%), Spirometra erinacei (1%) and Toxocara canis (1%), Sarcocystis spp. (2%), Cryptosporidium spp. (2%) and Cystoisospora canis (1%). One infection each with Trichuris vulpis, Dipylidium caninum and a protozoa belonging to the Entamoeba histolytica complex were identified. Sheather’s sucrose centrifugal flotation was more sensitive than saturated salt passive flotation, but no single test detected all cases of parasitic infection identified. The test methodologies employed are poor at recovering larva of Strongyloides stercoralis, Aleurostrongylus abstrussis and eggs of cestodes such as Echinococcus granulosis, so the potential presence of these parasites in Central Queensland domestic dogs cannot be excluded by this survey alone. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biosocial Determinants of Persistent Schistosomiasis among Schoolchildren in Tanzania despite Repeated Treatment
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 61; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040061
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease endemic to Tanzania and other countries of the global south, which is currently being addressed through preventive chemotherapy campaigns. However, there is growing recognition that chemotherapy strategies will need to be supplemented to sustainably control and eventually eliminate
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Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease endemic to Tanzania and other countries of the global south, which is currently being addressed through preventive chemotherapy campaigns. However, there is growing recognition that chemotherapy strategies will need to be supplemented to sustainably control and eventually eliminate the disease. There remains a need to understand the factors contributing to continued transmission in order to ensure the effective configuration and implementation of supplemented programs. We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire, to evaluate the biosocial determinants facilitating the persistence of schistosomiasis, among 1704 Tanzanian schoolchildren residing in two districts undergoing a preventive chemotherapeutic program: Rufiji and Mkuranga. A meta-analysis was carried out to select the diagnostic questions that provided a likelihood for predicting infection status. We found that self-reported schistosomiasis continues to persist among the schoolchildren, despite multiple rounds of drug administration.Using mixed effects logistic regression modeling, we found biosocial factors, including gender, socio-economic status, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related variables, were associated with this continued schistosomiasis presence. These findings highlight the significant role that social factors may play in the persistence of disease transmission despite multiple treatments, and support the need not only for including integrated technical measures, such as WASH, but also addressing issues of poverty and gender when designing effective and sustainable schistosomiasis control programs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of PCR-Based Tools to Explore Strongyloides Infection in People in Parts of Northern Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 62; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040062
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
Strongyloidiasis, which is caused by infection with the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis, is endemic to areas of northern Australia. Diagnosis in this region remains difficult due to the distances between endemic communities and diagnostic laboratories, leading to lengthy delays in stool processing for
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Strongyloidiasis, which is caused by infection with the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis, is endemic to areas of northern Australia. Diagnosis in this region remains difficult due to the distances between endemic communities and diagnostic laboratories, leading to lengthy delays in stool processing for microscopy and culture. PCR represents a viable solution to this difficulty, having potential for high sensitivity detection of S. stercoralis, even in older, unpreserved faecal samples. We prospectively collected 695 faecal specimens that were submitted to The Townsville Hospital Microbiology Laboratory from the North Queensland region for routine parasitological examination, and subjected them to a Strongyloides sp. real-time (q)PCR. Results were confirmed with a novel nested conventional PCR assay targeting the 18S rRNA gene, followed by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis (SSCP). Of the 695 specimens tested, S. stercoralis was detected in three specimens (0.4%) by classical parasitological methods (direct microscopy and formyl-ether acetate concentration), whereas 42 positives were detected by qPCR (6.0%). Conventional PCR confirmed the real-time PCR results in 24 of the samples (3.5%). Several apparent false-positive results occurred at higher cycle times (Ct) in the qPCR. Use of real-time PCR in these populations is promising for the enhanced detection of disease and to support eradication efforts. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Imperative of Palliation in the Management of Rabies Encephalomyelitis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 52; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040052
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this review is to guide clinicians in the practical management of patients suffering from rabies encephalomyelitis. This condition is eminently preventable by modern post-exposure vaccination, but is virtually always fatal in unvaccinated people. In the absence of any proven effective
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The aim of this review is to guide clinicians in the practical management of patients suffering from rabies encephalomyelitis. This condition is eminently preventable by modern post-exposure vaccination, but is virtually always fatal in unvaccinated people. In the absence of any proven effective antiviral or other treatment, palliative care is an imperative to minimise suffering. Suspicion of rabies encephalomyelitis depends on recognising the classic symptomatology and eliciting a history of exposure to a possibly rabid mammal. Potentially treatable differential diagnoses must be eliminated, notably other infective encephalopathies. Laboratory confirmation of suspected rabies is not usually possible in many endemic areas, but is essential for public health surveillance. In a disease as agonising and terrifying as rabies encephalomyelitis, alleviation of distressing symptoms is the primary concern and overriding responsibility of medical staff. Calm, quiet conditions should be created, allowing relatives to communicate with the dying patient in safety and privacy. Palliative management must address thirst and dehydration, fever, anxiety, fear, restlessness, agitation, seizures, hypersecretion, and pain. As the infection progresses, coma and respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, endocrine, or gastrointestinal complications will eventually ensue. When the facilities exist, the possibility of intensive care may arise, but although some patients may survive, they will be left with severe neurological sequelae. Recovery from rabies is extremely rare, and heroic measures with intensive care should be considered only in patients who have been previously vaccinated, develop rabies antibody within the first week of illness, or were infected by an American bat rabies virus. However, in most cases, clinicians must have the courage to offer compassionate palliation whenever the diagnosis of rabies encephalomyelitis is inescapable. Full article
Open AccessReview The Impact of Antimalarial Use on the Emergence and Transmission of Plasmodium falciparum Resistance: A Scoping Review of Mathematical Models
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 54; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040054
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 15 October 2017
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Abstract
The emergence and transmission of resistance to antimalarial treatments continue to hamper malaria elimination efforts. A scoping review was undertaken regarding the impact of antimalarial treatment in the human population on the emergence and transmission of Plasmodium falciparum resistance, to (i) describe the
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The emergence and transmission of resistance to antimalarial treatments continue to hamper malaria elimination efforts. A scoping review was undertaken regarding the impact of antimalarial treatment in the human population on the emergence and transmission of Plasmodium falciparum resistance, to (i) describe the use of mathematical models used to explore this relationship; (ii) discuss model findings; and (iii) identify factors influencing the emergence and transmission of resistance. Search strategies were developed and deployed in six major databases. Thirty-seven articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review: nine articles modeled the emergence of resistance, 19 modeled the transmission of resistance, and nine modeled both the emergence and transmission. The proportion of antimalarial use within the population and the presence of residual drug concentrations were identified to be the main predictors of the emergence and transmission of resistance. Influencing factors pertaining to the human, parasite and mosquito populations are discussed. To ensure the prolonged therapeutic usefulness of antimalarial treatments, the effect of antimalarial drug use on the emergence and transmission of resistance must be understood, and mathematical models are a useful tool for exploring these dynamics. Full article
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Open AccessReview Soil-Transmitted Helminths in Tropical Australia and Asia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 56; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040056
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) infect 2 billion people worldwide including significant numbers in South-East Asia (SEA). In Australia, STH are of less concern; however, indigenous communities are endemic for STH, including Strongyloides stercoralis, as well as for serious clinical infections due to other
[...] Read more.
Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) infect 2 billion people worldwide including significant numbers in South-East Asia (SEA). In Australia, STH are of less concern; however, indigenous communities are endemic for STH, including Strongyloides stercoralis, as well as for serious clinical infections due to other helminths such as Toxocara spp. The zoonotic hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum is also present in Australia and SEA, and may contribute to human infections particularly among pet owners. High human immigration rates to Australia from SEA, which is highly endemic for STH Strongyloides and Toxocara, has resulted in a high prevalence of these helminthic infections in immigrant communities, particularly since such individuals are not screened for worm infections upon entry. In this review, we consider the current state of STH infections in Australia and SEA. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Historical Case for and the Future Study of Antibiotic-Resistant Scrub Typhus
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 63; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040063
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
Scrub typhus is an acute, and sometimes fatal, human febrile illness, typically successfully treated using chloramphenicol or one of the tetracyclines. Over the past several years, descriptions of strains of Orientia tsutsugamushi with reduced susceptibility to antibiotics have appeared. Because case-fatality ratios approached
[...] Read more.
Scrub typhus is an acute, and sometimes fatal, human febrile illness, typically successfully treated using chloramphenicol or one of the tetracyclines. Over the past several years, descriptions of strains of Orientia tsutsugamushi with reduced susceptibility to antibiotics have appeared. Because case-fatality ratios approached 50% during the pre-antibiotic era, antibiotic-resistant scrub typhus is concerning. Herein, we review the data on resistant scrub typhus, describe how the theoretical existence of such resistance is affected by interpretation of treatment outcomes, and propose a plan to further identify whether true drug resistance is present and how to deal with drug resistance if it has evolved. Limited resistance is not unambiguous, if present, and antibiotic resistance in scrub typhus is not a dichotomous trait. Rather, evidence of resistance shows a continuous gradation of increasing resistance. The availability of genomes from isolates of O. tsutsugamushi allows the search for loci that might contribute to antibiotic resistance. At least eighteen such loci occur in all genomes of O. tsutsugamushi examined. One gene (gyrA) occurs as a quinolone-resistant form in the genome of all isolates of O. tsutsugamushi. At least 13 other genes that are present in some members of the genus Rickettsia do not occur within O. tsutsugamushi. Even though reports of scrub typhus not responding appropriately to chloramphenicol or a tetracycline treatment have been in the literature for approximately 23 years, the existence and importance of antibiotic-resistant scrub typhus remains uncertain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Rickettsia felis: A Review of Transmission Mechanisms of an Emerging Pathogen
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 64; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040064
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Rickettsia felis is an emerging pathogen of the transitional group of Rickettsia species and an important cause of febrile illness in Africa. Since the organism’s original discovery in the early 1990s, much research has been directed towards elucidating transmission mechanisms within the primary
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Rickettsia felis is an emerging pathogen of the transitional group of Rickettsia species and an important cause of febrile illness in Africa. Since the organism’s original discovery in the early 1990s, much research has been directed towards elucidating transmission mechanisms within the primary host and reservoir, the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). Several mechanisms for vertical and horizontal transmission within this vector have been thoroughly described, as well as transmission to other arthropod vectors, including other species of fleas. However, while a growing number of human cases of flea-borne spotted fever are being reported throughout the world, a definitive transmission mechanism from arthropod host to vertebrate host resulting in disease has not been found. Several possible mechanisms, including bite of infected arthropods and association with infectious arthropod feces, are currently being investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective Confronting the Emerging Threat to Public Health in Northern Australia of Neglected Indigenous Arboviruses
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(4), 55; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2040055
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
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Abstract
In excess of 75 arboviruses have been identified in Australia, some of which are now well established as causative agents of debilitating diseases. These include Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, and Murray Valley encephalitis virus, each of which may be detected by
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In excess of 75 arboviruses have been identified in Australia, some of which are now well established as causative agents of debilitating diseases. These include Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, and Murray Valley encephalitis virus, each of which may be detected by both antibody-based recognition and molecular typing. However, for most of the remaining arboviruses that may be associated with pathology in humans, routine tests are not available to diagnose infection. A number of these so-called ‘neglected’ or ‘orphan’ arboviruses that are indigenous to Australia might have been infecting humans at a regular rate for decades. Some of them may be associated with undifferentiated febrile illness—fever, the cause of which is not obvious—for which around half of all cases each year remain undiagnosed. This is of particular relevance to Northern Australia, given the Commonwealth Government’s transformative vision for the midterm future of massive infrastructure investment in this region. An expansion of the industrial and business development of this previously underpopulated region is predicted. This is set to bring into intimate proximity infection-naïve human hosts, native reservoir animals, and vector mosquitoes, thereby creating a perfect storm for increased prevalence of infection with neglected Australian arboviruses. Moreover, the escalating rate and effects of climate change that are increasingly observed in the tropical north of the country are likely to lead to elevated numbers of arbovirus-transmitting mosquitoes. As a commensurate response, continuing assiduous attention to vector monitoring and control is required. In this overall context, improved epidemiological surveillance and diagnostic screening, including establishing novel, rapid pan-viral tests to facilitate early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of febrile primary care patients, should be considered a public health priority. Investment in a rigorous identification program would reduce the possibility of significant outbreaks of these indigenous arboviruses at a time when population growth accelerates in Northern Australia. Full article
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