Special Issue "Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, University of Hawaii, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA
Interests: disaster risk governance; sustainable hazard mitigation; stochastic and statistical hydrology; sociohydrology; fluvial and marine disasters; global climate change, computational intelligence for water management; hydrologic resilience; process-based modeling of coupled human–water systems; inundation; economics of water resources management; drought
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) pose increasingly serious public health threats. To equip the public health community to address such threats, this Special Issue seeks to offer guidance to improve the analysis, surveillance and response to emerging diseases. In particular, we are interested in papers concerning new infections from existing organisms, known infections in new spatial locations, previously undocumented infections or antimicrobial resistance contributing to the re-emergence of infection. We seek to establish and strengthen national and regional public health systems and capacities to ensure public health security through preparedness planning, prevention, early detection and rapid response to EIDs and public health emergencies. EIDs currently account for more than a tenth of human pathogens and vector-borne diseases adjust continually to environmental changes (such as climatic factors) in complex, multifaceted and poorly understood ways. This Special Issue deals with the above matters, as well as the potentially catastrophic synergistic interaction between emerging diseases and other infectious and non-infectious conditions leading to novel health risks. Of particular concern is the identification of risk factors contributing to disease emergence, including a lack of public sanitation, microbial adaption, changing human susceptibility, changing human demographics and grade, economic development, bioterrorism, dam and irrigation system construction, and global climate change.

Dr. Jason K. Levy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Emerging Infectious Disease

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Influenza

  • Emerging Disease Detection

  • Emerging Disease Planning and Response

  • Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Disease

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Simulation-Based Study on the Comparison of Statistical and Time Series Forecasting Methods for Early Detection of Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050966 - 11 May 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Early detection of infectious disease outbreaks is one of the important and significant issues in syndromic surveillance systems. It helps to provide a rapid epidemiological response and reduce morbidity and mortality. In order to upgrade the current system at the Korea Centers for [...] Read more.
Early detection of infectious disease outbreaks is one of the important and significant issues in syndromic surveillance systems. It helps to provide a rapid epidemiological response and reduce morbidity and mortality. In order to upgrade the current system at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), a comparative study of state-of-the-art techniques is required. We compared four different temporal outbreak detection algorithms: the CUmulative SUM (CUSUM), the Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS), the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), and the Holt-Winters algorithm. The comparison was performed based on not only 42 different time series generated taking into account trends, seasonality, and randomly occurring outbreaks, but also real-world daily and weekly data related to diarrhea infection. The algorithms were evaluated using different metrics. These were namely, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), F1 score, symmetric mean absolute percent error (sMAPE), root-mean-square error (RMSE), and mean absolute deviation (MAD). Although the comparison results showed better performance for the EARS C3 method with respect to the other algorithms, despite the characteristics of the underlying time series data, Holt–Winters showed better performance when the baseline frequency and the dispersion parameter values were both less than 1.5 and 2, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessArticle
The Epidemiological Significance and Temporal Stability of Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats-Based Method Applied to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040782 - 17 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aimed to validate the epidemiological significance and temporal stability of Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) typing in a genetically and geographically diverse set of clinical isolates from patients diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in China. Between 2010 and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to validate the epidemiological significance and temporal stability of Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) typing in a genetically and geographically diverse set of clinical isolates from patients diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in China. Between 2010 and 2013, a total of 982 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were collected from four population-based investigations in China. Apart from the currently applied 24-locus MIRU-VNTR, six additional hypervariable loci were analyzed in order to validate the MIRU-VNTR combinations in terms of their epidemiological links, clustering time span, and paired geographic distance. In vitro temporal stability was analyzed for both individual MIRU-VNTR loci, and for several combinations of loci. In the present study, four MIRU-VNTR combinations, including the hypervariable loci 3820, 3232, 2163a, and 4120, were evaluated. All of these combinations obtained a Hunter-Gaston discriminatory index (HGDI) value over 0.9900 with a reduced clustering proportion (from 32.0% to 25.6%). By comparing epidemiological links, clustering time span, and paired geographic distance, we found that the performances of the four MIRU-VNTR combinations were comparable to the insertion sequence 6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (IS6110-RFLP), and significantly better than that of 24-locus MIRU-VNTR genotyping alone. The proportion of temporally stable loci ranged from 90.5% to 92.5% within the combined MIRU-VNTR genotyping, which is higher than IS6110-RFLP (85.4%). By adding four hypervariable loci to the standard 24-locus MIRU-VNTR genotyping, we obtained a high discriminatory power, stability and epidemiological significance. This algorithm could therefore be used to improve tuberculosis transmission surveillance and outbreak investigation in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessArticle
West Nile Virus and Usutu Virus Monitoring of Wild Birds in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010171 - 22 Jan 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
By systematically setting up a unique nation-wide wild bird surveillance network, we monitored migratory and resident birds for zoonotic arthropod-borne virus infections, such as the flaviviruses West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV). More than 1900 wild bird blood samples, from 20 [...] Read more.
By systematically setting up a unique nation-wide wild bird surveillance network, we monitored migratory and resident birds for zoonotic arthropod-borne virus infections, such as the flaviviruses West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV). More than 1900 wild bird blood samples, from 20 orders and 136 different bird species, were collected between 2014 and 2016. Samples were investigated by WNV and USUV-specific real-time polymerase chain reactions as well as by differentiating virus neutralization tests. Dead bird surveillance data, obtained from organ investigations in 2016, were also included. WNV-specific RNA was not detected, whereas four wild bird blood samples tested positive for USUV-specific RNA. Additionally, 73 USUV-positive birds were detected in the 2016 dead bird surveillance. WNV neutralizing antibodies were predominantly found in long-distance, partial and short-distance migrants, while USUV neutralizing antibodies were mainly detected in resident wild bird species, preferentially with low seroprevalences. To date, WNV-specific RNA has neither been detected in wild birds, nor in mosquitoes, thus, we conclude that WNV is not yet present in Germany. Continued wild bird and mosquito monitoring studies are essential to detect the incursion of zoonotic viruses and to allow risk assessments for zoonotic pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Sectional Serological Survey for Leptospira spp. in Beef and Dairy Cattle in Two Districts in Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111421 - 21 Nov 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Seroprevalence of Leptospira spp. in cattle is unknown in Uganda. The aim of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence of L. interrogans Icterohaemorrhagiae, Pomona, L. kirschneri Butembo, Grippotyphosa, L. borgpetersenii Nigeria, Hardjo, Wolfii, and Kenya and an overall seroprevalence in cattle from [...] Read more.
Seroprevalence of Leptospira spp. in cattle is unknown in Uganda. The aim of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence of L. interrogans Icterohaemorrhagiae, Pomona, L. kirschneri Butembo, Grippotyphosa, L. borgpetersenii Nigeria, Hardjo, Wolfii, and Kenya and an overall seroprevalence in cattle from Kole and Mbale districts. Two hundred-seventy five bovine sera from 130 small holder farms from Kole (n = 159) and Mbale (n = 116), collected between January and July 2015, were tested for antibodies against eight Leptospira strains by Microscopic Agglutination Test. A titer of ≥100 was considered seropositive, indicating past exposure. Overall, the seroprevalence was 19.27% (95% CI 14.9–24.5%). Pomona seroprevalence was highest with 9.45% (6.4–13.7%), followed by Kenya 5.09% (2.9–8.6%), Nigeria 4.00% (2.1–7.2%), Wolfii 3.27% (1.6–6.3%), Butembo 1.86% (0.7–4.4%), Hardjo 1.45% (0.5–3.9%), and Icterohaemorragiae and Grippotyphosa with less than 1% positive. Seroprevalence did not differ between districts and gender (p ≥ 0.05). Seven animals had titers ≥400. Cross-reactions or exposure to ≥1 serovar was measured in 43% of serum samples. Seroprevalence of 19% implies exposure of cattle to leptospires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessArticle
Phylogenetic Analysis and Antimicrobial Profiles of Cultured Emerging Opportunistic Pathogens (Phyla Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria) Identified in Hot Springs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091070 - 15 Sep 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Hot spring water may harbour emerging waterborne opportunistic pathogens that can cause infections in humans. We have investigated the diversity and antimicrobial resistance of culturable emerging and opportunistic bacterial pathogens, in water and sediment of hot springs located in Limpopo, South Africa. Aerobic [...] Read more.
Hot spring water may harbour emerging waterborne opportunistic pathogens that can cause infections in humans. We have investigated the diversity and antimicrobial resistance of culturable emerging and opportunistic bacterial pathogens, in water and sediment of hot springs located in Limpopo, South Africa. Aerobic bacteria were cultured and identified using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene sequencing. The presence of Legionella spp. was investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Isolates were tested for resistance to ten antibiotics representing six different classes: β-lactam (carbenicillin), aminoglycosides (gentamycin, kanamycin, streptomycin), tetracycline, amphenicols (chloramphenicol, ceftriaxone), sulphonamides (co-trimoxazole) and quinolones (nalidixic acid, norfloxacin). Gram-positive Kocuria sp. and Arthrobacter sp. and gram-negative Cupriavidus sp., Ralstonia sp., Cronobacter sp., Tepidimonas sp., Hafnia sp. and Sphingomonas sp. were isolated, all recognised as emerging food-borne pathogens. Legionella spp. was not detected throughout the study. Isolates of Kocuria, Arthrobacter and Hafnia and an unknown species of the class Gammaproteobacteria were resistant to two antibiotics in different combinations of carbenicillin, ceftriaxone, nalidixic acid and chloramphenicol. Cronobacter sp. was sensitive to all ten antibiotics. This study suggests that hot springs are potential reservoirs for emerging opportunistic pathogens, including multiple antibiotic resistant strains, and highlights the presence of unknown populations of emerging and potential waterborne opportunistic pathogens in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessArticle
Infection Dynamics and Antimicrobial Resistance Profile of Salmonella Paratyphi B d-tartrate Positive (Java) in a Persistently Infected Broiler Barn
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010101 - 21 Jan 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
The infection dynamics of S. Java were examined in three consecutive rearing periods on a broiler farm in Northwestern Germany which had been persistently infected with S. Java for more than five years. The barn was investigated for Salmonella occurrence after cleaning and [...] Read more.
The infection dynamics of S. Java were examined in three consecutive rearing periods on a broiler farm in Northwestern Germany which had been persistently infected with S. Java for more than five years. The barn was investigated for Salmonella occurrence after cleaning and disinfection to verify the persistent contamination of the broiler house with S. Java before the start of the first rearing cycle. Confirmation of Salmonella absence in day-old chicks (time-point 1) as well as early establishment of infection between days 5–7 (time-point 2) were confirmed by caecal swabs prepared for qPCR and classical microbiological methods. At three time-periods (between days 11–15 (time-point 3), days 25–28 (time-point 4), and days 38–40 (time-point 5)) caecal content was examined for colony forming units (CFU) Salmonella/g. In general, there was an increase in Salmonella Java load at time-point 4 compared to time-points 3 and 5. Therefore, we observed a bell-shaped course of infection resulting in higher rates of Salmonella CFU/g prior to prethinning than at final slaughter. The antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed resistance to tetracycline, fluorquinolones, trimethoprim, and cefoxitin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Meteorological Factors and Aseptic Meningitis in Six Metropolitan Provinces of the Republic of Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(12), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13121193 - 30 Nov 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
We assessed the association between climate factors and a number of aseptic meningitis cases in six metropolitan provinces of the Republic of Korea using a weekly number of cases from January 2002 to December 2012. Generalized linear quasi-Poisson models were applied to estimate [...] Read more.
We assessed the association between climate factors and a number of aseptic meningitis cases in six metropolitan provinces of the Republic of Korea using a weekly number of cases from January 2002 to December 2012. Generalized linear quasi-Poisson models were applied to estimate the effects of climate factors on the weekly number of aseptic meningitis cases. We used generalized additive and generalized additive mixed models to assess dose–response relationships. A 1 °C increase in mean temperature was associated with an 11.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 9.6%–13.3%) increase in aseptic meningitis with a 0-week lag; a 10 mm rise in rainfall was associated with an 8.0% (95% CI: 7.2%–8.8%) increase in aseptic meningitis with a 7-week lag; and a 1 mJ/m2 increase of solar radiation was associated with a 5.8% (95% CI: 3.0%–8.7%) increase in aseptic meningitis with a 10-week lag. Nino3 showed positive effects in all lags, and its one unit increase was associated with an 18.9% (95% CI: 15.3%–22.6%) increase of aseptic meningitis at lag 9. The variability in the relationship between climate factors and aseptic meningitis could be used to initiate preventive measures for climate determinants of aseptic meningitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Role of Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae) in Virus Transmission in Europe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020389 - 23 Feb 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Over the past three decades, a range of mosquito-borne viruses that threaten public and veterinary health have emerged or re-emerged in Europe. Mosquito surveillance activities have highlighted the Culex pipiens species complex as being critical for the maintenance of a number of these [...] Read more.
Over the past three decades, a range of mosquito-borne viruses that threaten public and veterinary health have emerged or re-emerged in Europe. Mosquito surveillance activities have highlighted the Culex pipiens species complex as being critical for the maintenance of a number of these viruses. This species complex contains morphologically similar forms that exhibit variation in phenotypes that can influence the probability of virus transmission. Critical amongst these is the choice of host on which to feed, with different forms showing different feeding preferences. This influences the ability of the mosquito to vector viruses and facilitate transmission of viruses to humans and domestic animals. Biases towards blood-feeding on avian or mammalian hosts have been demonstrated for different Cx. pipiens ecoforms and emerging evidence of hybrid populations across Europe adds another level of complexity to virus transmission. A range of molecular methods based on DNA have been developed to enable discrimination between morphologically indistinguishable forms, although this remains an active area of research. This review provides a comprehensive overview of developments in the understanding of the ecology, behaviour and genetics of Cx. pipiens in Europe, and how this influences arbovirus transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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Open AccessReview
Hand Hygiene Intervention Strategies to Reduce Diarrhoea and Respiratory Infections among Schoolchildren in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040371 - 01 Apr 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
Effective and appropriate hand-washing practice for schoolchildren is important in preventing infectious diseases such as diarrhoea, which is the second most common cause of death among school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of the review was to identify hand hygiene intervention strategies [...] Read more.
Effective and appropriate hand-washing practice for schoolchildren is important in preventing infectious diseases such as diarrhoea, which is the second most common cause of death among school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of the review was to identify hand hygiene intervention strategies to reduce infectious diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections among schoolchildren aged 6–12 years in developing countries. Published research articles were searched from databases covering a period from as far back as the creation of the databases to November 2015. Eight randomized controlled trials (RCT/CRCT) from developing countries met the inclusion criteria. The Jadad Scale for appraising RCT/CRCT studies revealed methodological challenges in most studies, such that 75% (6/8) were rated as low-quality articles. The review found that hand hygiene can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea and respiratory conditions. Three hand hygiene intervention strategies utilized were training, funding and policy, with training and funding implemented more commonly than policy. These strategies were not only used in isolation but also in combination, and they qualified as multi-level interventions. Factors that influenced hand washing were contextual, psychosocial and technological. Findings can inform school health workers in categorizing and prioritizing activities into viable strategies when implementing multi-level hand-washing interventions. This review also adds to the existing evidence that multi-level hand-washing interventions can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea, respiratory infections, and school absenteeism. Further evidence-based studies are needed with improved methodological rigour in developing countries, to inform policy in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) Research, Management and Response)
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