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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Open AccessCommentary
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Food Chain: Trade, One Health and Codex
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010054
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Strategies that take on a One Health approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) focused on reducing human use of antimicrobials, but policy-makers now have to grapple with a different set of political, economic, and highly sensitive trade interests less amenable to government direction, [...] Read more.
Strategies that take on a One Health approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) focused on reducing human use of antimicrobials, but policy-makers now have to grapple with a different set of political, economic, and highly sensitive trade interests less amenable to government direction, to tackle AMR in the food chain. Understanding the importance and influence of the intergovernmental Codex negotiations underway on AMR in the Food Chain is very weak but essential for AMR public policy experts. National and global food producing industries are already under pressure as consumers learn about the use of antimicrobials in food production and more so when the full impact of AMR microorganisms in the food chain and on the human microbiome is better understood. Governments will be expected to respond. Trade-related negotiations on access and use made of antimicrobials is political: the relevance of AMR ‘evidence’ is already contested and not all food producers or users of antimicrobials in the food chain are prepared to, or capable of, moving at the same pace. In trade negotiations governments defend their interpretation of national interest. Given AMR in the global food chain threatens national interest, both AMR One Health and zoonotic disease experts should understand and participate in all trade-related AMR negotiations to protect One Health priorities. To help facilitate this an overview and analysis of Codex negotiations is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Zoonoses)
Open AccessPerspective
WIPO Re:Search: Catalyzing Public-Private Partnerships to Accelerate Tropical Disease Drug Discovery and Development
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010053
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Tropical diseases, including malaria and a group of infections termed neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), pose enormous threats to human health and wellbeing globally. In concert with efforts to broaden access to current treatments, it is also critical to expand research and development (R&D) [...] Read more.
Tropical diseases, including malaria and a group of infections termed neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), pose enormous threats to human health and wellbeing globally. In concert with efforts to broaden access to current treatments, it is also critical to expand research and development (R&D) of new drugs that address therapeutic gaps and concerns associated with existing medications, including emergence of resistance. Limited commercial incentives, particularly compared to products for diseases prevalent in high-income countries, have hindered many pharmaceutical companies from contributing their immense product development know-how and resources to tropical disease R&D. In this article we present WIPO Re:Search, an international initiative co-led by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as an innovative and impactful public-private partnership model that promotes cross-sector intellectual property sharing and R&D to accelerate tropical disease drug discovery and development. Importantly, WIPO Re:Search also drives progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through case studies, we illustrate how WIPO Re:Search empowers high-quality tropical disease drug discovery researchers from academic/non-profit organizations and small companies (including scientists in low- and middle-income countries) to leapfrog their R&D programs by accessing pharmaceutical industry resources that may not otherwise be available to them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Discovery and Development for Tropical Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of a Virus Neutralisation Test for Detection of Rift Valley Fever Antibodies in Suid Sera
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010052
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a vector-borne viral disease of ruminants mainly, and man, characterized by abortions and neonatal deaths in animals and flu-like to more severe symptoms that can result in death in humans. The disease is endemic in Africa, Saudi Arabia [...] Read more.
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a vector-borne viral disease of ruminants mainly, and man, characterized by abortions and neonatal deaths in animals and flu-like to more severe symptoms that can result in death in humans. The disease is endemic in Africa, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and outbreaks occur following proliferation of RVF virus (RVFV) infected mosquito vectors. Vertebrate animal maintenance hosts of RVFV, which serve as a source of virus during inter-epidemic periods remain unknown, with wild and domestic suids being largely overlooked. To address this, we evaluated the virus neutralization test (VNT) for RVF antibody detection in suid sera, as a first step in assessing the role of suids in the epidemiology of RVF in Africa. Testing of experimental and field sera from domestic pigs and warthogs with a commercial RVF competitive antibody ELISA, served as a reference standard against which the VNT results were compared. Results indicate that VNT can detect anti-RVFV antibodies within three days post-infection, has an analytical specificity of 100% and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 80% and 97%, respectively. Although labour-intensive and time-consuming, the VNT proved suitable for screening suid sera and plasma for presence of RVFV antibodies in viraemic and recovered animals. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Naimi, W.A., et al. Differential Susceptibility of Male versus Female Laboratory Mice to Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 78
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010051
Received: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
Cost Savings of Using Updated Thai Red Cross Intradermal Regimen in a High-Throughput Anti-Rabies Clinic in New Delhi, India
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010050
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
Replacement of the Essen intramuscular (EIM) by the updated Thai Red Cross intradermal (UTRCID) regimen for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), in high-throughput hospitals of India, has been advocated since 2006 thanks to its cost-effectiveness. However, several anti-rabies clinics in India and other parts [...] Read more.
Replacement of the Essen intramuscular (EIM) by the updated Thai Red Cross intradermal (UTRCID) regimen for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), in high-throughput hospitals of India, has been advocated since 2006 thanks to its cost-effectiveness. However, several anti-rabies clinics in India and other parts of the world have not initiated this switchover of regimens because of the paucity of financial literature, generated in realistic settings, regarding the same. We calculated the procurement costs of various items required for providing rabies vaccinations via the EIM regimen and UTRCID regimen, on an annual basis, a year before and after the switchover. From a healthcare provider’s perspective, the cost of vaccination per patient was calculated to be 5.60 USD for the EIM regimen and 2.40 USD for the UTRCID regimen. The switchover to the UTRCID regimen from the EIM regimen reduced the financial burden of the rabies vaccination by almost 60%. Procurement of vaccine vials contributed to the majority of the cost (>94%) in both of the regimens. Procurement of syringes with fixed needles contributed negligibly (<6%) to the financial burden in both the regimens. A policy to progressively switch over to the UTRCID regimen from the EIM in all high-throughput anti-rabies centers of India would dramatically reduce the economic burden of running a successful anti-rabies program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyssaviruses and Rabies: Prevention, Control and Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Presence of Wuchereria bancrofti Infections in Vectors Using Xenomonitoring in Lymphatic Filariasis Endemic Districts in Ghana
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010049
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 17 March 2019
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Abstract
Mass drug administration (MDA) is the current mainstay to interrupt the transmission of lymphatic filariasis. To monitor whether MDA is effective and transmission of lymphatic filariasis indeed has been interrupted, rigorous surveillance is required. Assessment of transmission by programme managers is usually done [...] Read more.
Mass drug administration (MDA) is the current mainstay to interrupt the transmission of lymphatic filariasis. To monitor whether MDA is effective and transmission of lymphatic filariasis indeed has been interrupted, rigorous surveillance is required. Assessment of transmission by programme managers is usually done via serology. New research suggests that xenomonitoring holds promise for determining the success of lymphatic filariasis interventions. The objective of this study was to assess Wuchereria bancrofti infection in mosquitoes as a post-MDA surveillance tool using xenomonitoring. The study was carried out in four districts of Ghana; Ahanta West, Mpohor, Kassena Nankana West and Bongo. A suite of mosquito sampling methods was employed, including human landing collections, pyrethrum spray catches and window exit traps. Infection of W. bancrofti in mosquitoes was determined using dissection, conventional and real-time polymerase chain reaction and loop mediated isothermal amplification assays. Aedes, Anopheles coustani, An. gambiae, An. pharoensis, Culex and Mansonia mosquitoes were sampled in each of the four study districts. The dissected mosquitoes were positive for filarial infection using molecular assays. Dissected An. melas mosquitoes from Ahanta West district were the only species found positive for filarial parasites. We conclude that whilst samples extracted with Trizol reagent did not show any positives, molecular methods should still be considered for monitoring and surveillance of lymphatic filariasis transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs))
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Open AccessArticle
The Mite-Gallery Unit: A New Concept for Describing Scabies through Entodermoscopy
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010048
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
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Abstract
Scabies has always represented a diagnostic challenge for dermatologists, especially in subclinical cases or in atypical ones due to the coexistence of other diseases. Fortunately, dermatoscopy has enabled easier and faster in situ diagnosis. The aim of this study is to examine old [...] Read more.
Scabies has always represented a diagnostic challenge for dermatologists, especially in subclinical cases or in atypical ones due to the coexistence of other diseases. Fortunately, dermatoscopy has enabled easier and faster in situ diagnosis. The aim of this study is to examine old and new dermatoscopic signs that Sarcoptes scabiei produces on the skin during its whole life cycle through entodermoscopy (dermatoscopy with an entomological focus) which, unlike traditional optical microscope examination, allows the local micro-environment to be preserved intact. Patients were enrolled during outbreaks of scabies from hospitals or nursing homes for the elderly in Bari (Italy). The study was performed applying both immersion and polarized dry dermatoscopy. The systematic use of dermatoscopy highlighted the morphological complexity of the Sarcoptes tunnel that had been described previously as a simple unitary structure. On the contrary, it is possible to distinguish three separate segments of the burrow that introduce a new anatomo-functional concept called the Mite-Gallery Unit (MGU). This approach, based on the mite life cycle and local skin turnover (the latter usually being ignored), allows the dermatologist to recognize not only Sarcoptes using the gallery, but also new descriptors including tunnels without Sarcoptes, those with acari alone, and those with associated signs of inflammation. The diagnosis of scabies using optical microscopy until recently has always involved demonstrating the mite and its products outside the human body (on a glass slide) without taking into account exactly what happens within the epidermis. Entodermoscopy is a term used to encapsulate both the presence of the parasite, the usual target of microscopy, and the changes produced in the superficial layers of the epidermis in situ. Thus, the scabies tunnel or burrow can be shown to be composed of three parts, the Head, Body, and Tail, in which different events affecting both mite and host develop. The Mite-Gallery Unit provides a new anatomical and functional explanation of scabies because it provides a more comprehensive in vivo and in situ dermatoscopic diagnosis. In this respect, dermatoscopy takes into account the behavior of the mite in addition to its interaction with its habitat, the human skin. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
How Can Operational Research Help to Eliminate Tuberculosis in the Asia Pacific Region?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010047
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
Broad multi-sectoral action is required to end the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic by 2030 and this includes National TB Programmes (NTPs) fully delivering on quality-assured diagnostic, treatment and preventive services. Large implementation gaps currently exist in the delivery of these services, which can be [...] Read more.
Broad multi-sectoral action is required to end the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic by 2030 and this includes National TB Programmes (NTPs) fully delivering on quality-assured diagnostic, treatment and preventive services. Large implementation gaps currently exist in the delivery of these services, which can be addressed and closed through the discipline of operational research. This paper outlines the TB disease burden and disease-control programme implementation gaps in the Asia-Pacific region; discusses the key priority areas in diagnosis, treatment and prevention where operational research can be used to make a difference; and finally provides guidance about how best to embed operational research within a TB programme setting. Achieving internationally agreed milestones and targets for case finding and treatment requires the NTP to be streamlined and efficient in the delivery of its services, and operational research provides the necessary evidence-based knowledge and support to allow this to happen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
Open AccessArticle
Insights into Australian Bat Lyssavirus in Insectivorous Bats of Western Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010046
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a known causative agent of neurological disease in bats, humans and horses. It has been isolated from four species of pteropid bats and a single microbat species (Saccolaimus flaviventris). To date, ABLV surveillance has primarily been [...] Read more.
Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a known causative agent of neurological disease in bats, humans and horses. It has been isolated from four species of pteropid bats and a single microbat species (Saccolaimus flaviventris). To date, ABLV surveillance has primarily been passive, with active surveillance concentrating on eastern and northern Australian bat populations. As a result, there is scant regional ABLV information for large areas of the country. To better inform the local public health risks associated with human-bat interactions, this study describes the lyssavirus prevalence in microbat communities in the South West Botanical Province of Western Australia. We used targeted real-time PCR assays to detect viral RNA shedding in 839 oral swabs representing 12 species of microbats, which were sampled over two consecutive summers spanning 2016–2018. Additionally, we tested 649 serum samples via Luminex® assay for reactivity to lyssavirus antigens. Active lyssavirus infection was not detected in any of the samples. Lyssavirus antibodies were detected in 19 individuals across six species, with a crude prevalence of 2.9% (95% CI: 1.8–4.5%) over the two years. In addition, we present the first records of lyssavirus exposure in two Nyctophilus species, and Falsistrellus mackenziei. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Zoonoses)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Mixture Modelling Algorithms as a Tool for Determining the Statistical Likelihood of Serological Exposure to Filariasis Utilizing Historical Data from the Lymphatic Filariasis Surveillance Program in Vanuatu
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010045
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
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Abstract
As the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis declines, it becomes crucial to adequately eliminate residual areas of endemicity and implement surveillance. To this end, serological assays have been developed, including the Bm14 Filariasis CELISA which recommends a specific optical density cut-off level. We used [...] Read more.
As the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis declines, it becomes crucial to adequately eliminate residual areas of endemicity and implement surveillance. To this end, serological assays have been developed, including the Bm14 Filariasis CELISA which recommends a specific optical density cut-off level. We used mixture modelling to assess positive cut-offs of Bm14 serology in children in Vanuatu using historical OD (Optical Density) ELISA values collected from a transmission assessment survey (2005) and a targeted child survey (2008). Mixture modelling is a statistical technique using probability distributions to identify subpopulations of positive and negative results (absolute cut-off value) and an 80% indeterminate range around the absolute cut-off (80% cut-off). Depending on programmatic choices, utilizing the lower 80% cut-off ensures the inclusion of all likely positives, however with the trade-off of lower specificity. For 2005, country-wide antibody prevalence estimates varied from 6.4% (previous cut-off) through 9.0% (absolute cut-off) to 17.3% (lower 80% cut-off). This corroborated historical evidence of hotspots in Pentecost Island in Penama province. For 2008, there were no differences in the prevalence rates using any of the thresholds. In conclusion, mixture modelling is a powerful tool that allows closer monitoring of residual transmission spots and these findings supported additional monitoring which was conducted in Penama in later years. Utilizing a statistical data-based cut-off, as opposed to a universal cut-off, may help guide program decisions that are better suited to the national program. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Global Burden of Disease of Zoonotic Parasitic Diseases: Top 5 Contenders for Priority Consideration
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010044
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
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Abstract
With the rise of global migration, international trade, and global environmental challenges such as climate change, it is not surprising that the interactions between humans and other animals are shifting. Salient infectious diseases, such as malaria and HIV (which have high burdens of [...] Read more.
With the rise of global migration, international trade, and global environmental challenges such as climate change, it is not surprising that the interactions between humans and other animals are shifting. Salient infectious diseases, such as malaria and HIV (which have high burdens of disease), attract sophisticated public health frameworks and funding from global/regional organisations, such as the WHO. This unfortunately detracts attention from the many emerging zoonoses that fall under the radar as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This review considers the available literature and the attribution of burden of disease to the most insidious NTDs and recommends which five are deserving of policy prioritisation. In line with WHO analyses of NTDs, intestinal nematode infections, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, and lymphatic filariasis should be prioritised, as well as the burden of disease of cryptosporidiosis, which is largely underestimated. Both monitoring and treatment/prevention control methods for cryptosporidiosis are suggested and explored. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
The First Outbreak of Dengue Fever in Greater Darfur, Western Sudan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010043
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
Dengue virus (DENV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes, mainly Aedes aegypti. Dengue fever is a rapidly growing disease with expanding geographical distribution worldwide. We investigated a high number of non-malaria febrile cases reported to health clinics in [...] Read more.
Dengue virus (DENV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes, mainly Aedes aegypti. Dengue fever is a rapidly growing disease with expanding geographical distribution worldwide. We investigated a high number of non-malaria febrile cases reported to health clinics in refugee camps in the five states of Darfur between August 2015 and March 2016. The clinical presentation of cases and case definition criteria suggested involvement of one or more arboviral hemorrhagic fevers. Out of 560 suspected cases, we collected and analyzed 204 blood samples and serologically positive samples were confirmed by PCR. We identified 32 (15.7%) dengue viral infections, six West Nile virus infections, and three Crimean–Congo viral infections. Dengue infections were found in four out of the five Darfur states. We reported the first dengue fever outbreak in the Darfur region. Our results highlight the need for public health education and further molecular, phylogenetic, and entomological investigations for a better understanding of the disease transmission and the associated risk factors in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
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Open AccessArticle
A One Health Approach to Investigating Leptospira Serogroups and Their Spatial Distributions among Humans and Animals in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2013–2015
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010042
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 23 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
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Abstract
Leptospirosis is an endemic zoonotic disease in Brazil and is widespread throughout rural populations in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This study aimed to identify presumptive infecting Leptospira serogroups in human and animal cases and describe their occurrences within the ecoregions [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is an endemic zoonotic disease in Brazil and is widespread throughout rural populations in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This study aimed to identify presumptive infecting Leptospira serogroups in human and animal cases and describe their occurrences within the ecoregions of the state by animal species. Data for human and animal leptospirosis cases were gathered from the government’s passive surveillance systems and presumptive infecting serogroups were identified based on a two-fold titer difference in serogroups in the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) panel. A total of 22 different serogroups were reported across both human and animal cases. Serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was the most common among humans, while serogroup Sejroe predominated among animal cases, particularly bovines. Each ecoregion had a large distribution of cases, with 51% of the human cases in the Parana–Paraiba ecoregion, and 81% of the animal cases in the Savannah ecoregion. Identifying and mapping the serogroups circulating using the One Health approach is the first step for further understanding the distribution of the disease in the state. This study has the potential to aid in guiding public health and agricultural practices, furthering the need for a human vaccine in high-risk populations to complement control and prevention efforts. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sowing the Seeds of a Pandemic? Mammalian Pathogenicity and Transmissibility of H1 Variant Influenza Viruses from the Swine Reservoir
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010041
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
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Abstract
Emergence of genetically and antigenically diverse strains of influenza to which the human population has no or limited immunity necessitates continuous risk assessments to determine the likelihood of these viruses acquiring adaptations that facilitate sustained human-to-human transmission. As the North American swine H1 [...] Read more.
Emergence of genetically and antigenically diverse strains of influenza to which the human population has no or limited immunity necessitates continuous risk assessments to determine the likelihood of these viruses acquiring adaptations that facilitate sustained human-to-human transmission. As the North American swine H1 virus population has diversified over the last century by means of both antigenic drift and shift, in vivo assessments to study multifactorial traits like mammalian pathogenicity and transmissibility of these emerging influenza viruses are critical. In this review, we examine genetic, molecular, and pathogenicity and transmissibility data from a panel of contemporary North American H1 subtype swine-origin viruses isolated from humans, as compared to H1N1 seasonal and pandemic viruses, including the reconstructed 1918 virus. We present side-by-side analyses of experiments performed in the mouse and ferret models using consistent experimental protocols to facilitate enhanced interpretation of in vivo data. Contextualizing these analyses in a broader context permits a greater appreciation of the role that in vivo risk assessment experiments play in pandemic preparedness. Collectively, we find that despite strain-specific heterogeneity among swine-origin H1 viruses, contemporary swine viruses isolated from humans possess many attributes shared by prior pandemic strains, warranting heightened surveillance and evaluation of these zoonotic viruses. Full article
Open AccessReview
Asian Schistosomiasis: Current Status and Prospects for Control Leading to Elimination
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010040
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis is an infectious disease caused by helminth parasites of the genus Schistosoma. Worldwide, an estimated 250 million people are infected with these parasites with the majority of cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Within Asia, three species of Schistosoma cause disease. Schistosoma japonicum [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis is an infectious disease caused by helminth parasites of the genus Schistosoma. Worldwide, an estimated 250 million people are infected with these parasites with the majority of cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Within Asia, three species of Schistosoma cause disease. Schistosoma japonicum is the most prevalent, followed by S. mekongi and S. malayensis. All three species are zoonotic, which causes concern for their control, as successful elimination not only requires management of the human definitive host, but also the animal reservoir hosts. With regard to Asian schistosomiasis, most of the published research has focused on S. japonicum with comparatively little attention paid to S. mekongi and even less focus on S. malayensis. In this review, we examine the three Asian schistosomes and their current status in their endemic countries: Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Thailand (S. mekongi); Malaysia (S. malayensis); and Indonesia, People’s Republic of China, and the Philippines (S. japonicum). Prospects for control that could potentially lead to elimination are highlighted as these can inform researchers and disease control managers in other schistosomiasis-endemic areas, particularly in Africa and the Americas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessReview
Endemic Melioidosis in Southern China: Past and Present
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010039
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Melioidosis is a severe tropical infectious disease caused by the soil-dwelling bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, predominantly endemic to Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the presence of B. pseudomallei causing melioidosis in humans and other animals was demonstrated [...] Read more.
Melioidosis is a severe tropical infectious disease caused by the soil-dwelling bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, predominantly endemic to Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the presence of B. pseudomallei causing melioidosis in humans and other animals was demonstrated in four coastal provinces in southern China: Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian, although indigenous cases were rare and the disease failed to raise concern amongst local and national health authorities. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of melioidosis cases witnessed in the region, particularly in Hainan. Meanwhile, although China has established and maintained an effective communicable disease surveillance system, it has not yet been utilized for melioidosis. Thus, the overall incidence, social burden and epidemiological features of the disease in China remain unclear. In this context, we present a comprehensive overview of both historical and current information on melioidosis in Southern China, highlighting the re-emergence of the disease in Hainan. Surveillance and management strategies for melioidosis should be promoted in mainland China, and more research should be conducted to provide further insights into the present situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Japanese Encephalitis Virus in Australia: From Known Known to Known Unknown
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010038
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a major cause of neurological disease in Asia. It is a zoonotic flavivirus transmitted between water birds and/or pigs by Culex mosquitoes; humans are dead-end hosts. In 1995, JEV emerged for the first time in northern Australia causing [...] Read more.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a major cause of neurological disease in Asia. It is a zoonotic flavivirus transmitted between water birds and/or pigs by Culex mosquitoes; humans are dead-end hosts. In 1995, JEV emerged for the first time in northern Australia causing an unprecedented outbreak in the Torres Strait. In this article, we revisit the history of JEV in Australia and describe investigations of JEV transmission cycles in the Australian context. Public health responses to the incipient outbreak included vaccination and sentinel pig surveillance programs. Virus isolation and vector competence experiments incriminated Culex annulirostris as the likely regional vector. The role this species plays in transmission cycles depends on the availability of domestic pigs as a blood source. Experimental evidence suggests that native animals are relatively poor amplifying hosts of JEV. The persistence and predominantly annual virus activity between 1995 and 2005 suggested that JEV had become endemic in the Torres Strait. However, active surveillance was discontinued at the end of 2005, so the status of JEV in northern Australia is unknown. Novel mosquito-based surveillance systems provide a means to investigate whether JEV still occurs in the Torres Strait or is no longer a risk to Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Zoonoses)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice among Communities Living in Hotspot and Non-Hotspot Areas of Dengue in Selangor, Malaysia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010037
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: Dengue has affected more than one-third of the world population and Malaysia has recorded an increase in the number of dengue cases since 2012. Selangor state recorded the highest number of dengue cases in Malaysia. Most of the dengue infections occur among [...] Read more.
Background: Dengue has affected more than one-third of the world population and Malaysia has recorded an increase in the number of dengue cases since 2012. Selangor state recorded the highest number of dengue cases in Malaysia. Most of the dengue infections occur among people living in hotspot areas of dengue. This study aims to compare Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice among communities living in hotspot and non-hotspot dengue areas. Method: Communities living in 20 hotspot and 20 non-hotspot areas in Selangor were chosen in this study where 406 participants were randomly selected to answer questionnaires distributed at their housing areas. Total marks of each categories were compared using t-test. Result: Results show that there were significant mean differences in marks in Knowledge (p value: 0.003; 15.41 vs. 14.55) and Attitude (p value: < 0.001; 11.41 vs. 10.33), but not Practice (p value 0.101; 10.83 vs. 10.47) categories between communities of non-hotspot and hotspot areas. After considering two confounding variables which are education level and household income, different mean marks are found to be significant in Knowledge when education level acts as a covariate and Attitude when both act as covariates. Conclusion: Overall results show that people living in non-hotspot areas had better knowledge and attitude than people living in hotspot areas, but no difference was found in practice. This suggests that public health education should be done more frequently with people with a low education background and low household income, especially in hotspot areas to fight dengue outbreak and make dengue cases decrease effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
Open AccessArticle
Burden of Acute Respiratory Infections Among Under-Five Children in Relation to Household Wealth and Socioeconomic Status in Bangladesh
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010036
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Acute respiratory infections (ARIs), as a group of diseases and symptoms, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among under-five children in tropical countries like Bangladesh. Currently, no clear evidence has been published on the prevalence and socioeconomic correlates of ARIs in [...] Read more.
Acute respiratory infections (ARIs), as a group of diseases and symptoms, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among under-five children in tropical countries like Bangladesh. Currently, no clear evidence has been published on the prevalence and socioeconomic correlates of ARIs in Bangladesh. In this regard, we carried out this study with the aim of assessing the prevalence and the socioeconomic predictors of ARIs among children aged 0–59 months, with a special focus on socioeconomic status and wealth-related indicators. Cross-sectional data on 32,998 mother-child (singleton) pairs were collected from six rounds of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys (BDHS 1997–2014). The outcome variable were presence of the common symptoms of ARIs, fever and dyspnea, during the previous two weeks, which were measured based on mothers’ reports about the symptoms of these conditions. Explanatory variables included maternal demographic and socioeconomic factors such as age, education, occupation, wealth quintile, and child’s age and sex. The prevalence and predictors of ARIs were measured using descriptive and multivariate regression methods. The prevalence of both fever (31.00% in 1997 vs. 36.76% in 2014) and dyspnea (39.27% in 1997 vs. 43.27% in 2014) has increased gradually since 1997, and tended to be higher in households in the lower wealth quintiles. Multivariable analysis revealed that higher maternal educational status, access to improved water and sanitation facilities, and living in households in higher wealth quintiles had protective effects against both fever and dyspnea. Findings suggested a significantly negative association between lacking access to improved water and sanitation and use of biomass fuel with ARI symptoms. However, no sex difference was observed in these associations. Based on the findings, childhood ARI prevention strategies should address the risk factors stemming from parental socioeconomic marginalisation, household water and sanitation poverty, and use of unclean fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship Between Poverty and Infectious Disease)
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Open AccessCase Report
Hemoptysis in the Immunocompromised Patient: Do Not Forget Strongyloidiasis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010035
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Strongyloidiasis, due to infection with the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis, affects millions of people in the tropics and subtropics. Strongyloides has a unique auto-infective lifecycle such that it can persist in the human host for decades. In immunosuppressed patients, especially those on corticosteroids, [...] Read more.
Strongyloidiasis, due to infection with the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis, affects millions of people in the tropics and subtropics. Strongyloides has a unique auto-infective lifecycle such that it can persist in the human host for decades. In immunosuppressed patients, especially those on corticosteroids, potentially fatal disseminated strongyloidiasis can occur, often with concurrent secondary infections. Herein, we present two immunocompromised patients with severe strongyloidiasis who presented with pneumonia, hemoptysis, and sepsis. Both patients were immigrants from developing countries and had received prolonged courses of corticosteroids prior to admission. Patient 1 also presented with a diffuse abdominal rash; a skin biopsy showed multiple intradermal Strongyloides larvae. Patient 1 had concurrent pneumonic nocardiosis and bacteremia with Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis. Patient 2 had concurrent Aspergillus and Candida pneumonia and developed an Aerococcus meningitis. Both patients had negative serologic tests for Strongyloides; patient 2 manifested intermittent eosinophilia. In both patients, the diagnosis was afforded by bronchoscopy with lavage. The patients were successfully treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and ivermectin. Patient 1 also received albendazole. Strongyloidiasis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of hemoptysis in immunocompromised patients with possible prior exposure to S. stercoralis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Intermediate Hosts for Coronavirus Transmission: No Evidence of Clade 2c Coronaviruses in Domestic Livestock from Ghana
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010034
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
The emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), nearly a decade ago with worldwide distribution, was believed to be of zoonotic origin from bats with dromedary camels as intermediate hosts. There is a likelihood of other domestic livestock serving as intermediate hosts [...] Read more.
The emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), nearly a decade ago with worldwide distribution, was believed to be of zoonotic origin from bats with dromedary camels as intermediate hosts. There is a likelihood of other domestic livestock serving as intermediate hosts for this virus. The presence of coronaviruses, closely related to MERS-CoV in Ghanaian bats, presented the opportunity to test the hypothesis of transmissibility of this virus through domestic livestock species. The possible interactions between livestock and bats in 31 household farms were accessed by observation and interviews with farmers. Rectal swabs and serum from cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, and swine from commercial and household farms were tested for MERS-CoV and a Nycteris sp. bat coronavirus, previously detected in Ghana. A pan-PCR assay to detect clade 2c viruses and recombinant immunofluorescence assay to detect anti-spike IgG antibodies against the target viruses were used. Likely contact between livestock and bats was determined for 13 farms (41.9%) that reported confining their livestock and also observing bats in their homes. Livestock were left unconfined on eight farms (25.8%) that also observed bats roosting in trees close to their homes. No viral RNA or antibodies against the two coronaviruses were detected in any of the livestock species tested. Cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, and swine are not likely hosts of clade 2c coronaviruses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Evidence of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the Balimo Region of Papua New Guinea
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010033
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high burden of tuberculosis (TB), including drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). DR-TB has been identified in patients in Western Province, although there has been limited study outside the provincial capital of Daru. This study focuses on the Balimo region [...] Read more.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high burden of tuberculosis (TB), including drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). DR-TB has been identified in patients in Western Province, although there has been limited study outside the provincial capital of Daru. This study focuses on the Balimo region of Western Province, aiming to identify the proportion of DR-TB, and characterise Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) drug resistance-associated gene mutations. Sputum samples were investigated for MTB infection using published molecular methods. DNA from MTB-positive samples was amplified and sequenced, targeting the rpoB and katG genes to identify mutations associated with rifampicin and isoniazid resistance respectively. A total of 240 sputum samples were collected at Balimo District Hospital (BDH). Of these, 86 were classified as positive based on the results of the molecular assays. For samples where rpoB sequencing was successful, 10.0% (5/50, 95% CI 4.4–21.4%) were considered rifampicin-resistant through detection of drug resistance-associated mutations. We have identified high rates of presumptive DR-TB in the Balimo region of Western Province, PNG. These results emphasise the importance of further surveillance, and strengthening of diagnostic and treatment services at BDH and throughout Western Province, to facilitate detection and treatment of DR-TB, and limit transmission in this setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Associated Factors of Taking Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy in Sierra Leone
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010032
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Abstract
Malaria infection during pregnancy is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that gestational and congenital malaria can be prevented by using intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). IPTp-SP is a full [...] Read more.
Malaria infection during pregnancy is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that gestational and congenital malaria can be prevented by using intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). IPTp-SP is a full therapeutic course of antimalarial medicine administered during pregnancy as a component of antenatal care. This study’s objective was to assess the prevalence and predictors of IPTp-SP uptake in pregnancy in Sierra Leone. This study was based on the fifth round of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 5) conducted in Sierra Leone in 2016. Participants were 8526 women aged between 15–49 years. Outcome variables were uptake of IPTp-SP during the last pregnancy. Data were analysed using cross-tabulation and logistic regression methods. Results showed that the prevalence of taking IPTp-SP was 94.81% (92.40, 96.14), and that the prevalence of taking at least three doses was 93.24% (92.50, 94.81). In the multivariate logistic regression, education, parity, and antenatal care (ANC) use were significant predictors of IPTp-SP uptake. Women with higher education had lower odds of taking IPTp-SP (Odds Ratio = 0.647, 95%CI = 0.444, 0.943); having higher parity (>4) was associated with lower odds of taking IPTp-SP (OR = 0.663; 95%CI = 0.442, 0.994) and adequate ANC use increased the odds of taking IPTp-SP in both urban (OR = 1.450, 95%CI = 1.158, 3.128) and rural areas (OR = 1.903, 95%CI = 1.069, 1.966). In contrast, the positive association between ANC visits and adequate doses of taking IPTp-SP was true for rural women only (OR = 1.408, 95%CI = 1.174, 1.689). In conclusion, the use of IPTp-SP is close to being universal, with the prevalence being relatively higher in the rural areas. Based on our findings, promoting adequate antenatal care visits should be regarded as a key strategy to improve the use of IPTp-SP in Sierra Leone. Further studies could focus on exploring other predictors of IPTp-SP uptake that are not captured by MICS in Sierra Leone. Full article
Open AccessReview
Bats and Viruses: Emergence of Novel Lyssaviruses and Association of Bats with Viral Zoonoses in the EU
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010031
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Abstract
Bats in the EU have been associated with several zoonotic viral pathogens of significance to both human and animal health. Virus discovery continues to expand the existing understating of virus classification, and the increased interest in bats globally as reservoirs or carriers of [...] Read more.
Bats in the EU have been associated with several zoonotic viral pathogens of significance to both human and animal health. Virus discovery continues to expand the existing understating of virus classification, and the increased interest in bats globally as reservoirs or carriers of zoonotic agents has fuelled the continued detection and characterisation of new lyssaviruses and other viral zoonoses. Although the transmission of lyssaviruses from bat species to humans or terrestrial species appears rare, interest in these viruses remains, through their ability to cause the invariably fatal encephalitis—rabies. The association of bats with other viral zoonoses is also of great interest. Much of the EU is free of terrestrial rabies, but several bat species harbor lyssaviruses that remain a risk to human and animal health. Whilst the rabies virus is the main cause of rabies globally, novel related viruses continue to be discovered, predominantly in bat populations, that are of interest purely through their classification within the lyssavirus genus alongside the rabies virus. Although the rabies virus is principally transmitted from the bite of infected dogs, these related lyssaviruses are primarily transmitted to humans and terrestrial carnivores by bats. Even though reports of zoonotic viruses from bats within the EU are rare, to protect human and animal health, it is important characterise novel bat viruses for several reasons, namely: (i) to investigate the mechanisms for the maintenance, potential routes of transmission, and resulting clinical signs, if any, in their natural hosts; (ii) to investigate the ability of existing vaccines, where available, to protect against these viruses; (iii) to evaluate the potential for spill over and onward transmission of viral pathogens in novel terrestrial hosts. This review is an update on the current situation regarding zoonotic virus discovery within bats in the EU, and provides details of potential future mechanisms to control the threat from these deadly pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Tropical Pathogens of Bats)
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Open AccessReview
Elimination of Schistosomiasis Mekongi from Endemic Areas in Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Current Status and Plans
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010030
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Abstract
The areas endemic for schistosomiasis in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and in Cambodia were first reported 50 and 60 years ago, respectively. However, the causative parasite Schistosoma mekongi was not recognized as a separate species until 1978. The infection is distributed along [...] Read more.
The areas endemic for schistosomiasis in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and in Cambodia were first reported 50 and 60 years ago, respectively. However, the causative parasite Schistosoma mekongi was not recognized as a separate species until 1978. The infection is distributed along a limited part of the Mekong River, regulated by the focal distribution of the intermediate snail host Neotricula aperta. Although more sensitive diagnostics imply a higher figure, the current use of stool examinations suggests that only about 1500 people are presently infected. This well-characterized setting should offer an exemplary potential for the elimination of the disease from its endemic areas; yet, the local topography, reservoir animals, and a dearth of safe water sources make transmission control a challenge. Control activities based on mass drug administration resulted in strong advances, and prevalence was reduced to less than 5% according to stool microscopy. Even so, transmission continues unabated, and the true number of infected people could be as much as 10 times higher than reported. On-going control activities are discussed together with plans for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessOpinion
The Importance of Wildlife Disease Monitoring as Part of Global Surveillance for Zoonotic Diseases: The Role of Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010029
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Australia has a comprehensive system of capabilities and functions to prepare, detect and respond to health security threats. Strong cooperative links and coordination mechanisms exist between the human (public health) and animal arms of the health system in Australia. Wildlife is included in [...] Read more.
Australia has a comprehensive system of capabilities and functions to prepare, detect and respond to health security threats. Strong cooperative links and coordination mechanisms exist between the human (public health) and animal arms of the health system in Australia. Wildlife is included in this system. Recent reviews of both the animal and human health sectors have highlighted Australia’s relative strengths in the detection and management of emerging zoonotic diseases. However, the risks to Australia posed by diseases with wildlife as part of their epidemiology will almost certainly become greater with changing land use and climate change and as societal attitudes bring wildlife, livestock and people into closer contact. These risks are not isolated to Australia but are global. A greater emphasis on wildlife disease surveillance to assist in the detection of emerging infectious diseases and integration of wildlife health into One Health policy will be critical in better preparing Australia and other countries in their efforts to recognize and manage the adverse impacts of zoonotic diseases on human health. Animal and human health practitioners are encouraged to consider wildlife in their day to day activities and to learn more about Australia’s system and how they can become more involved by visiting www.wildlifeheathaustralia.com.au. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Zoonoses)
Open AccessReview
Realizing the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy (2016–2035): How Can Social Approaches to Tuberculosis Elimination Contribute to Progress in Asia and the Pacific?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010028
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
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Abstract
This review article discusses how social approaches to tuberculosis elimination might contribute to realizing the targets stipulated in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy (2016–2035), with an emphasis on opportunities for progress in Asia and the Pacific. Many factors known to [...] Read more.
This review article discusses how social approaches to tuberculosis elimination might contribute to realizing the targets stipulated in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy (2016–2035), with an emphasis on opportunities for progress in Asia and the Pacific. Many factors known to advance tuberculosis transmission and progression are pervasive in Asia and the Pacific, such as worsening drug resistance, unregulated private sector development, and high population density. This review article argues that historically successful social solutions must be revisited and improved upon if current worldwide tuberculosis rates are to be sustainably reduced in the long term. For the ambitious targets laid down in the WHO’s End TB Strategy to be met, biomedical innovations such as point-of-care diagnostics and new treatments for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) must be implemented alongside economic, social, and environmental interventions. Implementing social, environmental, and economic interventions alongside biomedical innovations and universal healthcare coverage will, however, only be possible if the health and other government sectors, civil society, and at-risk populations unite to work collaboratively in coming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
Open AccessArticle
Epidemiology, Risk Factors and Seasonal Variation of Scrub Typhus Fever in Central Nepal
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010027
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
Scrub typhus is a mite-borne acute febrile illness caused by Orientia. tsutsugamushi, a zoonotic bacterial infection common in the region known as the tsutsugamushi triangle. This study aims to determine the seroprevalence, seasonal variation, and risk factors of scrub typhus among the acute [...] Read more.
Scrub typhus is a mite-borne acute febrile illness caused by Orientia. tsutsugamushi, a zoonotic bacterial infection common in the region known as the tsutsugamushi triangle. This study aims to determine the seroprevalence, seasonal variation, and risk factors of scrub typhus among the acute febrile illness patients attending different hospitals of central Nepal. Blood samples were collected from hospitalized patients of acute febrile illness suspected of scrub typhus infection attending different hospitals of central Nepal from April 2017 to March 2018. The IgM antibody to Orientia tsutsugamushi was detected by using the Scrub Typhus Detect™ Kit. Among the total cases (1585), 358 (22.58%) were positive for IgM Antibodies. Multivariate analysis identified several risks factors to be significantly associated with the scrub typhus infection, including gender (female) (odds ratio [OR] = 1.976, p ≤ 0.001, confidence interval [CI] = 1.417–2.756), rural residential location (odds ratio [OR] = 0.431, p = 0.001, confidence interval [CI] = 0.260–0.715), house near grassland (odds ratio [OR] = 3.288, p ≤ 0.001, confidence interval [CI] = 1.935–5.587), and working in the field (odds ratio [OR] = 9.764, p = 0.004, confidence interval [CI] = 2.059–46.315). The study findings indicate scrub typhus infection to be a significant health problem in Nepal. The proper diagnosis of infection cases, timely institution of therapy, public awareness, and vector control are important measures to be taken for the prevention and management of scrub typhus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Resistance to Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs): Do Not Forget the Partner Drug!
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010026
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the mainstay for malaria treatment in almost all malaria endemic settings. Artemisinin derivatives are highly potent and fast acting antimalarials; but they have a short half-life and need to be combined with partner drugs with a longer [...] Read more.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the mainstay for malaria treatment in almost all malaria endemic settings. Artemisinin derivatives are highly potent and fast acting antimalarials; but they have a short half-life and need to be combined with partner drugs with a longer half-life to clear the remaining parasites after a standard 3-day ACT regimen. When introduced, ACTs were highly efficacious and contributed to the steep decrease of malaria over the last decades. However, parasites with decreased susceptibility to artemisinins have emerged in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), followed by ACTs’ failure, due to both decreased susceptibility to artemisinin and partner drug resistance. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strengthen and expand current resistance surveillance systems beyond the GMS to track the emergence or spread of artemisinin resistance. Great attention has been paid to the spread of artemisinin resistance over the last five years, since molecular markers of decreased susceptibility to artemisinin in the GMS have been discovered. However, resistance to partner drugs is critical, as ACTs can still be effective against parasites with decreased susceptibility to artemisinins, when the latter are combined with a highly efficacious partner drug. This review outlines the different mechanisms of resistance and molecular markers associated with resistance to partner drugs for the currently used ACTs. Strategies to improve surveillance and potential solutions to extend the useful therapeutic lifespan of the currently available malaria medicines are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Resistance in the Malaria Parasite: Biology and Epidemiology)
Open AccessCase Report
Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis Outbreak in A Documentary Film Crew Travelling from Guatemala to Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010025
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Histoplasma capsulatum is an endemic mycosis with a widespread distribution, although it is infrequently reported in travellers. In April 2018, five television crew members developed an acute febrile illness after filming a documentary about vampire bats in Guatemala. Patients developed symptoms after travelling [...] Read more.
Histoplasma capsulatum is an endemic mycosis with a widespread distribution, although it is infrequently reported in travellers. In April 2018, five television crew members developed an acute febrile illness after filming a documentary about vampire bats in Guatemala. Patients developed symptoms after travelling to Australia, where they presented for medical care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel and Tropical Medicine)
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