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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Open AccessCase Report
Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi: An Unusual Cause of Infective Endocarditis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010035
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
While typhoid fever is a common infection, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is a rare cause of endocarditis. We describe the case of a 20-year-old male who was treated for a primary episode of microbiologically-confirmed typhoid fever. He presented six weeks post-discharge with fever [...] Read more.
While typhoid fever is a common infection, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is a rare cause of endocarditis. We describe the case of a 20-year-old male who was treated for a primary episode of microbiologically-confirmed typhoid fever. He presented six weeks post-discharge with fever and lethargy. S. Typhi was again identified in blood cultures, and echocardiography identified a mitral valve lesion. Our case suggests that a relapse of typhoid should prompt further investigation for a deep-seated infection, including consideration of echocardiographic evaluation to rule out infective endocarditis. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Melioidosis in Papua New Guinea and Oceania
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010034
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis has only been sporadically reported throughout Melanesia and the Pacific region since the first report from Guam in 1946; therefore, its contribution to the disease burden in this region is largely unknown. However, the outcome of a small number of active surveillance [...] Read more.
Melioidosis has only been sporadically reported throughout Melanesia and the Pacific region since the first report from Guam in 1946; therefore, its contribution to the disease burden in this region is largely unknown. However, the outcome of a small number of active surveillance programs, serological surveys, and presumptive imported cases identified elsewhere provide an insight into its epidemiology and potential significance throughout the region. Both clinical cases and environmental reservoirs have been described from the rural district of Balimo in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea and from the Northern Province of New Caledonia. In both these locations the incidence of disease is similar to that described in tropical Australia and Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates are also phylogenetically linked to Australian isolates. Serological evidence and presumptive imported cases identified elsewhere suggest that melioidosis exists in other countries throughout the Pacific. However, the lack of laboratory facilities and clinical awareness, and the burden of other infections of public health importance such as tuberculosis, contribute to the under-recognition of melioidosis in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A Tool for Assessment of Animal Health Laboratory Safety and Biosecurity: The Safety Module of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Laboratory Mapping Tool
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010033
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
The Laboratory Management Tool (LMT) is a standardized spreadsheet-based assessment tool developed to help support national, regional, and global efforts to maintain an effective network of animal health and veterinary public health laboratories. The safety and biosecurity module of the LMT (LMT-S) includes [...] Read more.
The Laboratory Management Tool (LMT) is a standardized spreadsheet-based assessment tool developed to help support national, regional, and global efforts to maintain an effective network of animal health and veterinary public health laboratories. The safety and biosecurity module of the LMT (LMT-S) includes 98 measures covering administrative, operational, engineering, and personal protective equipment practices used to provide laboratory safety and biosecurity. Performance aspects of laboratory infrastructure and technical compliance considered fundamental for ensuring that a laboratory is able to appropriately function in a safe and biosecure manner are systematically queried and scored for compliance on a four-point scale providing for a semi-quantitative assessment. Data collected is used to generate graphs and tables mapping levels of compliance with international standards and good practices, as well as for documenting progress over time. The LMT-S was employed by trained auditors in 34 laboratories located in 19 countries between 2015 and 2017. The tool is intended to help standardize animal health laboratory assessments, document compliance with recognized laboratory safety and biosecurity measures, serve as a self-help and training tool, and assist global laboratory development efforts by providing an accurate measurement of laboratory safety and biosecurity at local, national, and regional levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Open AccessArticle
Emergence of Melioidosis in Indonesia and Today’s Challenges
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010032
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
A recent modeling study estimated that there could be as many as 20,000 human melioidosis cases per year in Indonesia, with around 10,000 potential deaths annually. Nonetheless, the true burden of melioidosis in Indonesia is still unknown. The Indonesia Melioidosis Network was formed [...] Read more.
A recent modeling study estimated that there could be as many as 20,000 human melioidosis cases per year in Indonesia, with around 10,000 potential deaths annually. Nonetheless, the true burden of melioidosis in Indonesia is still unknown. The Indonesia Melioidosis Network was formed during the first melioidosis workshop in 2017. Here, we reviewed 101 melioidosis cases (99 human and two animal cases) previously reported and described an additional 45 human melioidosis cases. All 146 culture-confirmed cases were found in Sumatra (n = 15), Java (n = 104), Kalimantan (n = 15), Sulawesi (n = 11) and Nusa Tenggara (n = 1). Misidentification of Burkholderia pseudomallei was not uncommon, and most cases were only recently identified. We also evaluated clinical manifestations and outcome of recent culture-confirmed cases between 2012 and 2017 (n = 42). Overall, 15 (36%) cases were children (age <15 years) and 27 (64%) were adults (age ≥15 years). The overall mortality was 43% (18/42). We conducted a survey and found that 57% (327/548) of healthcare workers had never heard of melioidosis. In conclusion, melioidosis is endemic throughout Indonesia and associated with high mortality. We propose that top priorities are increasing awareness of melioidosis amongst all healthcare workers, increasing the use of bacterial culture, and ensuring accurate identification of B. pseudomalleiand diagnosis of melioidosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in Singapore: Clinical, Veterinary, and Environmental Perspectives
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010031
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis is a notifiable infectious disease registered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore. From a clinical perspective, increased awareness of the disease has led to early detection and treatment initiation, thus resulting in decreasing mortality rates [...] Read more.
Melioidosis is a notifiable infectious disease registered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore. From a clinical perspective, increased awareness of the disease has led to early detection and treatment initiation, thus resulting in decreasing mortality rates in recent years. However, the disease still poses a threat to local pet, zoo and farm animals, where early diagnosis is a challenge. The lack of routine environmental surveillance studies also makes prevention of the disease in animals difficult. To date, there have been no reports that provide a complete picture of how the disease impacts the local human and animal populations in Singapore. Information on the distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the environment is also lacking. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of both published and unpublished clinical, veterinary and environmental studies on melioidosis in Singapore to achieve better awareness and management of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in the Western Indian Ocean and the Importance of Improving Diagnosis, Surveillance, and Molecular Typing
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010030
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis, caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an infectious disease of humans or animals, and the specific environmental conditions that are present in western Indian Ocean islands are particularly suitable for the establishment/survival of B. pseudomallei. Indeed, an increasing number [...] Read more.
Melioidosis, caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an infectious disease of humans or animals, and the specific environmental conditions that are present in western Indian Ocean islands are particularly suitable for the establishment/survival of B. pseudomallei. Indeed, an increasing number of new cases have been reported in this region (Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (France), and Seychelles, except Comoros and Mayotte (France)), and are described in this review. Our review clearly points out that further studies are needed in order to investigate the real incidence and burden of melioidosis in the western Indian Ocean and especially Madagascar, since it is likely to be higher than currently reported. Thus, research and surveillance priorities were recommended (i) to improve awareness of melioidosis in the population and among clinicians; (ii) to improve diagnostics, in order to provide rapid and effective treatment; (iii) to implement a surveillance and reporting system in the western Indian Ocean; and (iv) to investigate the presence of B. pseudomallei in environmental samples, since we have demonstrated its presence in soil samples originating from the yard of a Madagascan case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis in a Wildlife Researcher in Sabah, Malaysia: A Case Study
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010029
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract
We present evidence for a case of spotted fever rickettsiosis with severe complications in a young adult male. Although spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) have been reported as the most prevalent cause of rickettsiosis in rural areas of Sabah, Malaysia since the 1980s, [...] Read more.
We present evidence for a case of spotted fever rickettsiosis with severe complications in a young adult male. Although spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) have been reported as the most prevalent cause of rickettsiosis in rural areas of Sabah, Malaysia since the 1980s, this is the first detailed case report of suspected SFGR in the state. Current data on the prevalence, type, and thorough clinical reports on complications of SFGR and other rickettsioses in Sabah is lacking and required to raise the awareness of such diseases. There is a need to emphasize the screening of rickettsioses to medical personnel and to encourage the use of appropriate antibiotics as early treatment for nonspecific febrile illnesses in this region. Suspected rickettsioses need to be considered as one of the differential diagnoses for patients presenting with acute febrile illness for laboratory investigations, and early treatment instituted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in Myanmar
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010028
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Sporadic cases of melioidosis have been diagnosed in Myanmar since the disease was first described in Yangon in 1911. Published and unpublished cases are summarized here, along with results from environmental and serosurveys. A total of 298 cases have been reported from seven [...] Read more.
Sporadic cases of melioidosis have been diagnosed in Myanmar since the disease was first described in Yangon in 1911. Published and unpublished cases are summarized here, along with results from environmental and serosurveys. A total of 298 cases have been reported from seven states or regions between 1911 and 2018, with the majority of these occurring before 1949. Findings from soil surveys confirm the presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the environment in all three regions examined. The true epidemiology of the disease in Myanmar is unknown. Important factors contributing to the current gaps in knowledge are lack of awareness among clinicians and insufficient laboratory diagnostic capacity in many parts of the country. This is likely to have led to substantial under-reporting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis: An Australian Perspective
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010027
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Burkholderia pseudomallei is endemic in northern Australia, with cases of melioidosis most commonly occurring during the wet season in individuals with diabetes, hazardous alcohol use, and chronic kidney disease. Pneumonia is the most common presentation and the majority of patients are bacteraemic—however, infection [...] Read more.
Burkholderia pseudomallei is endemic in northern Australia, with cases of melioidosis most commonly occurring during the wet season in individuals with diabetes, hazardous alcohol use, and chronic kidney disease. Pneumonia is the most common presentation and the majority of patients are bacteraemic—however, infection may involve almost any organ, with the skin and soft tissues, genitourinary system, visceral organs, and bone and joints affected most commonly. Central nervous system involvement is rarer, but has a high attributable mortality. Increased awareness of the disease amongst healthcare providers, ready access to appropriate antibiotic therapy and high-quality intensive care services has resulted in a sharp decline in the case fatality rate over the last 20 years. Further improvement in clinical outcomes will require a greater understanding of the disease′s pathophysiology, its optimal management, and more effective strategies for its prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Transmission Modes of Melioidosis in Taiwan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010026
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
In Taiwan, melioidosis is an emerging disease that suddenly increased in the Er-Ren River Basin, beginning in 2005 and in the Zoynan region during 2008–2012, following a typhoon. Additionally, the disease sporadically increased in a geography-dependent manner in 2016. Subcutaneous inoculation, ingestion, and [...] Read more.
In Taiwan, melioidosis is an emerging disease that suddenly increased in the Er-Ren River Basin, beginning in 2005 and in the Zoynan region during 2008–2012, following a typhoon. Additionally, the disease sporadically increased in a geography-dependent manner in 2016. Subcutaneous inoculation, ingestion, and the inhalation of soil or water contaminated with Burkholderia pseudomallei are recognized as the transmission modes of melioidosis. The appearance of environmental B. pseudomallei positivity in northern, central and southern Taiwan is associated with disease prevalence (cases/population: 0.03/100,000 in the northern region, 0.29/100,000 in the central region and 1.98/100,000 in the southern region). However, melioidosis-clustered areas are confined to 5 to 7.5 km2 hot spots containing high-density populations, but B. pseudomallei-contaminated environments are located >5 km northwestern of the periphery of these hot spots. The observation that the concentration of B. pseudomallei-specific DNA in aerosols was positively correlated with the incidence of melioidosis and the appearance of a northwesterly wind in a hot spot indicated that airborne transmission had occurred in Taiwan. Moreover, the isolation rate in the superficial layers of a contaminated crop field in the northwest was correlated with PCR positivity in aerosols collected from the southeast over a two-year period. The genotype ST58 was identified by multilocus sequence typing in human and aerosol isolates. The genotype ST1001 has increased in prevalence but has been sporadically distributed elsewhere since 2016. These data indicate the transmission modes and environmental foci that support the dissemination of melioidosis are changing in Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in Malaysia: Incidence, Clinical Challenges, and Advances in Understanding Pathogenesis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010025
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Malaysia is an endemic hot spot for melioidosis; however, a comprehensive picture of the burden of disease, clinical presentations, and challenges faced in diagnosis and treatment of melioidosis is not available. This review provides a nonexhaustive overview of epidemiological data, clinical studies, risk [...] Read more.
Malaysia is an endemic hot spot for melioidosis; however, a comprehensive picture of the burden of disease, clinical presentations, and challenges faced in diagnosis and treatment of melioidosis is not available. This review provides a nonexhaustive overview of epidemiological data, clinical studies, risk factors, and mortality rates from available literature and case reports. Clinical patterns of melioidosis are generally consistent with those from South and Southeast Asia in terms of common primary presentations with diabetes as a major risk factor. Early diagnosis and appropriate management of Malaysian patients is a key limiting factor, which needs to be addressed to reduce serious complications and high mortality and recurrence rates. Promoting awareness among the local healthcare personnel is crucial to improving diagnostics and early treatment, as well as educating the Malaysian public on disease symptoms and risk factors. A further matter of urgency is the need to make this a notifiable disease and the establishment of a national melioidosis registry. We also highlight local studies on the causative agent, Burkholderia pseudomallei, with regards to bacteriology and identification of virulence factors as well as findings from host–pathogen interaction studies. Collectively, these studies have uncovered new correlations and insights for further understanding of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010024
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an endemic disease in tropical areas around the world. Cumulative human cases have demonstrated that melioidosis is prevalent and increasingly recognized in the American continent. Even though the first reports of melioidosis in Mexico, Central [...] Read more.
Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an endemic disease in tropical areas around the world. Cumulative human cases have demonstrated that melioidosis is prevalent and increasingly recognized in the American continent. Even though the first reports of melioidosis in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands date back to the late 1940s, the potential of the disease as a public health concern in the region has not been fully appreciated. Unfortunately, recent studies predicting the global distribution of the disease and the demonstration of melioidosis endemicity in Puerto Rico have not increased recognition of the disease by health professionals in this region. Furthermore, a lack of both diagnostic capacity and awareness of the disease has resulted in a limited number of studies that have attempted to accurately determine its prevalence and geographical distribution. In this review, a summary of reported cases in the countries of this region are presented, as well as recommendations to increase the diagnosis and awareness of the disease as an important public health problem in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean islands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessMeeting Report
A Report from the Cambodia Training Event for Awareness of Melioidosis (C-TEAM), October 2017
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010023
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis is an endemic infection in Cambodia, a lower middle income SE Asian country. Despite more laboratories isolating and identifying Burkholderia pseudomallei in recent years, the infection remains under-recognised and under-diagnosed, particularly in the adult population. Lack of knowledge about the disease and [...] Read more.
Melioidosis is an endemic infection in Cambodia, a lower middle income SE Asian country. Despite more laboratories isolating and identifying Burkholderia pseudomallei in recent years, the infection remains under-recognised and under-diagnosed, particularly in the adult population. Lack of knowledge about the disease and lack of utilization of microbiology laboratories contributes to this, along with laboratory capacity issues. Treatment costs often hamper optimal management. In response to these issues, a national one-health training event was held in October 2017 to raise awareness of the disease amongst clinical, laboratory, and public health professionals. The meeting format, findings, and outcomes are described here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Melioidosis in Sri Lanka
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010022
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
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Abstract
Until recently, Sri Lanka was not considered a country with endemic melioidosis. However, an increasing number of cases is being reported. National surveillance for melioidosis was instituted after 2008. A total of 250 culture-positive cases was recorded between 2006 and May 2017. Males [...] Read more.
Until recently, Sri Lanka was not considered a country with endemic melioidosis. However, an increasing number of cases is being reported. National surveillance for melioidosis was instituted after 2008. A total of 250 culture-positive cases was recorded between 2006 and May 2017. Males predominated (71.6%). The age range was wide (2–92 years) reflecting a ubiquity of exposure. The majority (201/250, 80%) lived in rural areas. All provinces were affected. Case load increased during the two monsoonal periods (67%). There was representation of every population group including farmers (n = 44), housewives (n = 24), school children (n = 10), professionals (n = 5), businesspersons (n = 6), white-collar workers (n = 10) and blue-collar workers (n = 8). Diabetes was the predominant risk factor (n = 163, 65.2%). Clinical presentations included community-acquired sepsis and pneumonia, superficial and deep abscesses, and septic arthritis. Mortality was 20.4% (51/250). A majority (n = 212) of isolates belonged to the YLF (Yersinia-like fimbrial) clade but 38 were BTFC (B. thailandensis-like flagellum and chemotaxis). A total of 108 isolates was genotyped and 46 sequence types (STs) were identified, 40 being novel. It is clear that melioidosis is endemic in Sri Lanka with a wide geographic and demographic distribution. There is an urgent need to extend surveillance of melioidosis to under-resourced parts of the country and to populations at high risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010021
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis is clearly highly endemic in Laos, although the disease has only been diagnosed regularly in humans (1359 cases) since 1999, and only a single animal case has been microbiologically confirmed. Burkholderia pseudomallei is extensively and abundantly present in soil and surface water [...] Read more.
Melioidosis is clearly highly endemic in Laos, although the disease has only been diagnosed regularly in humans (1359 cases) since 1999, and only a single animal case has been microbiologically confirmed. Burkholderia pseudomallei is extensively and abundantly present in soil and surface water in central and southern Laos, but the true distribution of the disease across the country remains to be determined. Surveillance is almost non-existent and diagnostic microbiology services are not yet well established, whilst awareness of melioidosis is low amongst policy-makers, healthcare providers, and the public. It is hoped that this situation will improve over the next decade as the country rapidly develops, especially as this is likely to be accompanied by a further increase in the prevalence of diabetes, meaning that more people in this predominantly agricultural population will be at risk of contracting melioidosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Melioidosis in Brunei Darussalam
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010020
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis continues to be a major health care problem in Brunei Darussalam. The age of patients, gender distribution, risk factors, and clinical presentations are similar to those reported from other countries in the region. The incidence of melioidosis was high during the wet [...] Read more.
Melioidosis continues to be a major health care problem in Brunei Darussalam. The age of patients, gender distribution, risk factors, and clinical presentations are similar to those reported from other countries in the region. The incidence of melioidosis was high during the wet months and in the Temburong district, which has the highest annual rainfall. In spite of adequate facilities for diagnosis and treatment, the mortality remains high (27%). Women and those presenting with septic shock had higher mortality. There is a case for making melioidosis a notifiable disease in Brunei Darussalam. Coordinated efforts between policy-makers and various stakeholders are required to effectively combat the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Associated with Scrub Typhus: Systematic Review and Comparison between Pediatric and Adult Cases
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010019
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
Background: Scrub typhus is a mite-borne bacterial infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a potential severe complication. Most reported cases of HLH associated with scrub typhus were single cases or case series with a small sample sizes. Thus, no [...] Read more.
Background: Scrub typhus is a mite-borne bacterial infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a potential severe complication. Most reported cases of HLH associated with scrub typhus were single cases or case series with a small sample sizes. Thus, no clear consensus exists on clinical manifestations and differences between pediatric and adult cases of this condition. Methods: a systematic search of English and Japanese articles from PubMed, PubMed Central, and Directory of Open Access Journals databases was performed from 3 December 2016 to 28 December 2017. The primary outcome was mortality in patients with HLH associated with scrub typhus; secondary outcomes were differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory findings, and treatment between pediatric and adult patients with HLH associated with scrub typhus. Results: thirty cases of HLH associated with scrub typhus were identified (age range: 2 months to 75 years; median age: 21.5 years, male:female ratio, 1:1). Eschar was frequently observed in the pediatric group (p = 0.017), whereas acute kidney injury was more prevalent in the adult group (p = 0.010). Two patients died of intracranial hemorrhage complicated with multiple organ failure; overall mortality rate was 6.7%. Conclusions: HLH associated with scrub typhus could be cured with remarkable improvement using single antibiotic therapy in approximately half the cases, with the mortality rate being relatively lower than that of HLH associated with other secondary causes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Intermittent Preventive Treatment among Pregnant Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Malaria Indicator Surveys
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010018
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
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Abstract
Uptake of intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) is a clinically-proven method to prevent the adverse outcomes of malaria in pregnancy (MiP) for the mother, her foetus, and the neonates. The majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have introduced IPTp [...] Read more.
Uptake of intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) is a clinically-proven method to prevent the adverse outcomes of malaria in pregnancy (MiP) for the mother, her foetus, and the neonates. The majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have introduced IPTp policies for pregnant women during the past decade. Nonetheless, progress towards improving IPTp coverage remains dismal, with widespread regional and socioeconomic disparities in the utilisation of this highly cost-effective service. In the present study, our main objective was to measure the prevalence of IPTp uptake in selected malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and to investigate the patterns of IPTp uptake among different educational and wealth categories adjusted for relevant sociodemographic factors. For this study, cross-sectional data on 18,603 women aged between 15 and 49 years were collected from the Malaria Indicator Surveys (MIS) conducted in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. The outcome variable was taking three doses of IPTp-SP in the last pregnancy, defined as adequate by the WHO. According to the analysis, the overall prevalence of taking three doses of IPTp-SP in the latest pregnancy was 29.5% (95% CI = 28.2–30.5), with the prevalence being highest for Ghana (60%, 95% CI = 57.1–62.8), followed by Kenya (37%, 95% CI = 35.3–39.2) and Sierra Leone (31%, 95% CI = 29.2–33.4). Women from non-poor households (richer—20.7%, middle—21.2%, richest—18.1%) had a slightly higher proportion of taking three doses of IPTp-SP compared with those from poorest (19.0%) and poorer (21.1%) households. Regression analysis revealed an inverse association between uptake of IPTp-SP and educational level. With regard to wealth status, compared with women living in the richest households, those in the poorest, poorer, middle, and richer households had significantly higher odds of not taking at least three doses of IPTp-SP during their last pregnancy. The present study concludes that the prevalence of IPTp-SP is still alarmingly low and is significantly associated with individual education and household wealth gradient. Apart from the key finding of socioeconomic disparities within countries, were the between-country variations that should be regarded as a marker of inadequate policy and healthcare system performance in the respective countries. More in-depth and longitudinal studies are required to understand the barriers to, and preferences of, using IPTp-SP among women from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The ‘Influenza’ Vaccine Used during the Samoan Pandemic of 1918
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010017
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
In 1918, a crude influenza vaccine made from chemically inactivated, mixed cultures of respiratory bacteria was widely used prior to the understanding that influenza was caused by a virus. Such vaccines contained no viral material and probably consisted largely of bacterial endotoxin. The [...] Read more.
In 1918, a crude influenza vaccine made from chemically inactivated, mixed cultures of respiratory bacteria was widely used prior to the understanding that influenza was caused by a virus. Such vaccines contained no viral material and probably consisted largely of bacterial endotoxin. The Australian military used such a vaccine on Samoa in December 1918 and thought it was valuable. Post hoc analyses suggest that the mixed respiratory bacteria vaccine may have actually been of some benefit, but the mechanism of such protection is unknown. Although such a crude vaccine would not be considered in a modern setting, the rapid use of problematic vaccines still remains a risk when new influenza types suddenly appear, as in 1976 and 2009. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Community Awareness on Rabies Prevention and Control in Bicol, Philippines: Pre- and Post-Project Implementation
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010016
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Rabies is endemic in the Philippines. To support the rabies campaign in the Bicol region at the southeastern part of Luzon, the BAI-OIE Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Rabies project was implemented in the pilot provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, [...] Read more.
Rabies is endemic in the Philippines. To support the rabies campaign in the Bicol region at the southeastern part of Luzon, the BAI-OIE Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Rabies project was implemented in the pilot provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Masbate. A community awareness survey was conducted with the residents of these provinces to determine their knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) on rabies during the start and end of the project. Qualitative, descriptive research was done with a structured KAP questionnaire. Pet owners in the pilot provinces were chosen as respondents. Results showed that respondents know that they can acquire rabies in animals through the bite of a rabid dog (pre-project implementation (PRI): 19.6%, post-project implementation (POI): 38.0%). Vaccination was the top rabies preventive measure (PRI: 61.8%, POI: 92.8%). Biting incidents were noted in some respondents, and observing the dog and killing it immediately were some of the actions taken by bite victims. If a supposed rabid dog was seen, respondents would either: immediately kill the dog (PRI: 20.3%, POI: 13.7%), report it to authorities (PRI: 26.3%, POI: 63.1%), and capture and observe the dog concerned (PRI: 13.5%, POI: 6.0%). Pet owners increased their KAP about rabies prevention and control as compared to the pre-implementation study. However, certain gaps in their KAP need to be given attention; thus continuous education of pet owners must be done. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Cultural, Aboriginal Language, Discovery Education for Health Literacy and Informed Consent in a Remote Aboriginal Community in the Northern Territory, Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010015
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Background: Education for health literacy of Australian Aboriginal people living remotely is challenging as their languages and worldviews are quite different from English language and Western worldviews. Becoming health literate depends on receiving comprehensible information in a culturally acceptable manner. Methods: The study [...] Read more.
Background: Education for health literacy of Australian Aboriginal people living remotely is challenging as their languages and worldviews are quite different from English language and Western worldviews. Becoming health literate depends on receiving comprehensible information in a culturally acceptable manner. Methods: The study objective was to facilitate oral health literacy through community education about scabies and strongyloidiasis, including their transmission and control, preceding an ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) for these diseases. A discovery education approach where health concepts are connected to cultural knowledge in the local language was used. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal educators worked collaboratively to produce an in-depth flip-chart of the relevant stories in the local language and to share them with clan elders and 27% of the population. Results: The community health education was well received. Feedback indicated that the stories were being discussed in the community and that the mode of transmission of strongyloidiasis was understood. Two-thirds of the population participated in the MDA. This study documents the principles and practice of a method of making important Western health knowledge comprehensible to Aboriginal people. This method would be applicable wherever language and culture of the people differ from language and culture of health professionals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Clinical Validation of a Multiplex Real-Time Quantitative PCR Assay for Human Infection by Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010014
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Background: Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis, often present as undifferentiated fever but are not treated by typical empiric regimens for acute febrile illness. Their role as agents of vector-borne [...] Read more.
Background: Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis, often present as undifferentiated fever but are not treated by typical empiric regimens for acute febrile illness. Their role as agents of vector-borne febrile disease in tropical regions is more poorly studied than for other rickettsial infections. Limitations in diagnosis have impaired epidemiologic and clinical research and needless morbidity and mortality occur due to untreated illness. Methods: We designed and clinically validated a multiplex real-time quantitative PCR assay for Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis using samples confirmed by multiple gold-standard methods. Results: Clinical sensitivity and specificity for A. phagocytophilum were 100% (39/39) and 100% (143/143), respectively, and for E. chaffeensis 95% (20/21) and 99% (159/161), respectively. Conclusions: These assays could support early diagnosis and treatment as well as the high-throughput testing required for large epidemiologic studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessEditorial
Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010013
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by the environmental bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, has remained in the shadows for far too long[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Rickettsial Infections and Q Fever Amongst Febrile Patients in Bhutan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010012
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
There is limited evidence of rickettsial diseases in Bhutan. We explored the contribution of rickettsioses as a cause of undifferentiated febrile illness in patients presenting to 14 Bhutanese hospitals from October 2014 to June 2015. Obvious causes of fever were excluded clinically. Clinico-demographic [...] Read more.
There is limited evidence of rickettsial diseases in Bhutan. We explored the contribution of rickettsioses as a cause of undifferentiated febrile illness in patients presenting to 14 Bhutanese hospitals from October 2014 to June 2015. Obvious causes of fever were excluded clinically. Clinico-demographic information and acute blood samples were collected. Samples were tested by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and qPCR against scrub typhus group (STG), spotted fever group (SFG) and typhus group (TG) rickettsiae, and Q fever (QF). Of the 1044 patients, 539 (51.6%) were female and the mean age was 31.5 years. At least 159 (15.2%) of the patients had evidence of a concurrent rickettsial infection. Of these, 70 (6.7%), 46 (4.4%), 4 (0.4%), and 29 (2.8%) were diagnosed as acute infections with STG, SFG, TG, and QF respectively. Ten (1.0%) patients were seropositive for both SFG and TG. Seven of the 70 STG patients were positive by qPCR. Eschar (p < 0.001), myalgia (p = 0.003), and lymphadenopathy (p = 0.049) were significantly associated with STG, but no specific symptoms were associated with the other infections. Disease incidences were not different between age groups, genders, occupations, and districts, except for students with significantly lower odds of infection with STG (OR = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.20, 0.93; p = 0.031). Rickettsioses were responsible for at least 15% of undifferentiated febrile illnesses in Bhutan, scrub typhus being the commonest. Health authorities should ensure that health services are equipped to manage these infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Scrub Typhus: No Longer Restricted to the Tsutsugamushi Triangle
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010011
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Scrub typhus is the most important rickettsial disease in the world. Its previous endemic region was considered to be in Asia, Australia and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; this area was referred to as the Tsutsugamushi Triangle. Accumulation of serological, molecular, [...] Read more.
Scrub typhus is the most important rickettsial disease in the world. Its previous endemic region was considered to be in Asia, Australia and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; this area was referred to as the Tsutsugamushi Triangle. Accumulation of serological, molecular, genetic, and culture data have shown that not only is scrub typhus not limited to the Tsutsugamushi Triangle, but can be caused by orientiae other than Orientia tsutsugamushi. This review describes evidence currently available that will be instrumental to researchers, healthcare providers and medical leaders in developing new research projects, performing diagnosis, and preventing scrub typhus in locations not previously thought to be endemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessProtocol
The COUNTDOWN Study Protocol for Expansion of Mass Drug Administration Strategies against Schistosomiasis and Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis in Ghana
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010010
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Current international policy for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) control emphasises mass administration of deworming drugs in school-based programmes. However, this approach is insufficient to control the transmission of these diseases, and their burden in non-school cohorts is recognised, albeit under-researched. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Current international policy for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) control emphasises mass administration of deworming drugs in school-based programmes. However, this approach is insufficient to control the transmission of these diseases, and their burden in non-school cohorts is recognised, albeit under-researched. This research will investigate the feasibility and acceptability of expanding access to praziquantel (PZQ) against schistosomiasis, and albendazole (ALB) against STH, to communities in selected transmission settings in Ghana. (2) Methods: A three-site longitudinal study will be implemented to investigate the effectiveness of expanding treatment strategies for PZQ and ALB to community members. In the context of community mass drug administration (to preschool children, school non-attending children, and adults, including pregnant women), the intervention will be assessed in a random sample of community members, at baseline with follow-up at 6, 12, and 18 months. In each community, 658 participants will be enrolled, and 314 followed up at each time point. The primary outcome measure is the prevalence of infection of Schistosoma haematobium and/or S. mansoni at study endpoint, as assessed by longitudinal surveys. Secondary outcomes are to quantify the infection of schistosomiasis and STH infections in non-treated cohorts, reductions in prevalence of STH, and intensity of schistosomiasis and STH, and treatment coverage. Nested within this study will be qualitative, cost-benefit, and cost-effectiveness evaluations that will explore accessibility, feasibility, and economic impact of expanded treatment from different complementary perspectives. (3) Discussion: Using a multidisciplinary approach, this study will generate evidence for improved availability, acceptability, affordability, and accessibility to deworming drugs against schistosomiasis and STH to individuals and communities in Ghana. This is likely to have considerable research, programmatic, and political value to contribute evidence for national programme policy development within Ghana, and, more broadly, World Health Organization policy development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Rise of Imported Dengue Infections in Victoria, Australia, 2010–2016
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010009
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 21 January 2018
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Abstract
Dengue notifications have increased dramatically over the past seven years in Victoria, Australia—a trend which has been seen nationally and reflects increased cases internationally. We reviewed the epidemiology of dengue among Victorian travellers, changes in diagnostic methods and describe the burden placed on [...] Read more.
Dengue notifications have increased dramatically over the past seven years in Victoria, Australia—a trend which has been seen nationally and reflects increased cases internationally. We reviewed the epidemiology of dengue among Victorian travellers, changes in diagnostic methods and describe the burden placed on local health systems resulting from this disease of public health importance. Cases of dengue notified to the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Australia, between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2016 were included in this review. Demographic, clinical, diagnostic methods, and risk factor data were examined using descriptive epidemiological analyses. Cases of dengue increased on average by 22% per year, with a total of 2187 cases (5.5 cases/100,000 population) notified over the 7-year reporting period. The most frequently reported country of acquisition was Indonesia (45%) followed by Thailand (14%). The use of multiple diagnostic methods, including the non-structural protein 1 antigen (NS1Ag) detection test, increased over time. The median time between onset of illness and diagnosis diminished from 9 days (IQR: 2–15) in 2010 to 4 days (IQR: 2–7) in 2016. Proportionally more cases were discharged directly from emergency departments in recent years (10% in 2010 to 28% in 2016, p < 0.001).The increasing incidence of dengue in Australia is reflective of its growing prominence as a travel medicine problem in western countries. For travellers with non-severe dengue, the improved timeliness of dengue diagnostics allows for consideration of best practice ambulatory management approaches as used in endemic areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Scrub Typhus (Orientia tsutsugamushi and Related Organisms): Then, Now, and Tomorrow
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010008
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
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Abstract
Scrub typhus and the rickettsial diseases represent some of the oldest recognized vector-transmitted diseases, fraught with a rich historical aspect, particularly as applied to military/wartime situations. The vectors of Orientia tsutsugamushi were once thought to be confined to an area designated as the [...] Read more.
Scrub typhus and the rickettsial diseases represent some of the oldest recognized vector-transmitted diseases, fraught with a rich historical aspect, particularly as applied to military/wartime situations. The vectors of Orientia tsutsugamushi were once thought to be confined to an area designated as the Tsutsugamushi Triangle. However, recent reports of scrub typhus caused by Orientia species other than O. tsutsugamushi well beyond the limits of the Tsutsugamushi Triangle have triggered concerns about the worldwide presence of scrub typhus. It is not known whether the vectors of O. tsutsugamushi will be the same for the new Orientia species, and this should be a consideration during outbreak/surveillance investigations. Additionally, concerns surrounding the antibiotic resistance of O. tsutsugamushi have led to considerations for the amendment of treatment protocols, and the need for enhanced public health awareness in both the civilian and medical professional communities. In this review, we discuss the history, outbreaks, antibiotic resistance, and burgeoning genomic advances associated with one of the world’s oldest recognized vector-borne pathogens, O. tsutsugamushi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease in 2017
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010007
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Features and Laboratory Findings of Travelers Returning to South Australia with Dengue Virus Infection
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010006
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 7 January 2018
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Abstract
Reported cases of dengue are rising in South Australia (SA) in travellers returning from dengue-endemic regions. We have undertaken a retrospective analysis to identify the clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients returning to SA with suspected dengue virus (DENV) infection. From 488 requests, [...] Read more.
Reported cases of dengue are rising in South Australia (SA) in travellers returning from dengue-endemic regions. We have undertaken a retrospective analysis to identify the clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients returning to SA with suspected dengue virus (DENV) infection. From 488 requests, 49 (10%) were defined by serology as acute dengue, with the majority of patients (75%) testing as non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and/or IgM positive. Dengue was most commonly acquired in Indonesia (42.9%) with clinical features of fever (95%), headache (41%) and myalgia/arthralgia (56%). The presence of rash (36%) and laboratory findings of neutropenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, but not elevated C-reactive protein, were distinct from findings in DENV-seronegative patients. Available dengue seropositive samples were analysed by RT-PCR, with 14/32 (43.8%) positive by a serotype non-specific DENV assay, but 28/32 positive (87.5%) when also assessed by serotype-specific RT-PCR. Serotype analysis revealed the predominance of DENV-1 and DENV-2 and the presence of DENV-3, but not DENV-4 or Zika virus (ZIKV). Thus, dengue in returned travellers in SA presents in a manner consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) definitions, with symptoms, travel history and laboratory results useful in prioritising the likelihood of dengue. This definition will assist the future management in DENV-non-endemic regions, such as SA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
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