Journal News Pouch - 7 December 2015


  • Ebola 
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)
  • Avian Influenza  
  • Emergencies and Disasters 
  • Vaccines
  • Zoonoses and Animal Diseases



Uveitis and Systemic Inflammatory Markers in Convalescent Phase of Ebola Virus Disease

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Feb 2016

We report a case of probable Zaire Ebola virus–related ophthalmologic complications in a physician from the United States who contracted Ebola virus disease in Liberia. Uveitis, immune activation, and nonspecific increase in antibody titers developed during convalescence. This case highlights immune phenomena that could complicate management of Ebola virus disease–related uveitis during convalescence.

Ebola Virus Persistence in Semen Ex Vivo

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Feb 2016

On March 20, 2015, a case of Ebola virus disease was identified in Liberia that most likely was transmitted through sexual contact. We assessed the efficiency of detecting Ebola virus in semen samples by molecular diagnostics and the stability of Ebola virus in ex vivo semen under simulated tropical conditions.

Epidemiology of Epidemic Ebola Virus Disease in Conakry and Surrounding Prefectures, Guinea, 2014–2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Feb 2016

In 2014, Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa was first reported during March in 3 southeastern prefectures in Guinea; from there, the disease rapidly spread across West Africa. We describe the epidemiology of EVD cases reported in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and 4 surrounding prefectures (Coyah, Dubreka, Forecariah, and Kindia), encompassing a full year of the epidemic.

Ebola Virus RNA Stability in Human Blood and Urine in West Africa’s Environmental Conditions

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Feb 2016

We evaluated RNA stability of Ebola virus in EDTA blood and urine samples collected from infected patients and stored in West Africa’s environmental conditions. In blood, RNA was stable for at least 18 days when initial cycle threshold values were <30, but in urine, RNA degradation occurred more quickly.

Use of Capture–Recapture to Estimate Underreporting of Ebola Virus Disease, Montserrado County, Liberia

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

To the Editor: Underreporting of cases during a large outbreak of disease is not without precedent (1–5). Health systems in West Africa were ill-prepared for the arrival of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) (6). The Ebola outbreak in Liberia was declared on March 31, 2014, and peaked in September 2014. However, by mid-June, the outbreak had reached Montserrado County, where the capital, Monrovia, is located.

Will Ebola change the game? Ten essential reforms before the next pandemic

The Lancet, Nov 2015

The Ebola epidemic raised a crucial question: what reforms are needed to mend the fragile global system for outbreak prevention and response, rebuild confidence, and prevent future disasters? To address this question, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine jointly launched the Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola.

Risk factors for transmission of Ebola or Marburg virus disease

Oxford International Journal of Epidemiology, Nov 2015

Scientific and grey literature were searched for articles about any African filovirus. Articles were screened for information about transmission (prevalence or odds ratios especially). Data were extracted from eligible articles and summarized narratively with partial meta-analysis. Study quality was also evaluated.



Microevolution of Outbreak-Associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, South Korea, 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Feb 2016

During the 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in South Korea, we sequenced full viral genomes of strains isolated from 4 patients early and late during infection. Patients represented at least 4 generations of transmission. We found no evidence of changes in the evolutionary rate and no reason to suspect adaptive changes in viral proteins.

Asymptomatic MERS-CoV Infection in Humans Possibly Linked to Infected Dromedaries Imported from Oman to United Arab Emirates, May 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

In May 2015 in United Arab Emirates, asymptomatic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection was identified through active case finding in 2 men with exposure to infected dromedaries. Epidemiologic and virologic findings suggested zoonotic transmission. Genetic sequences for viruses from the men and camels were similar to those for viruses recently detected in other countries.

Kinetics of Serologic Responses to MERS Coronavirus Infection in Humans, South Korea

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

We investigated the kinetics of serologic responses to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection by using virus neutralization and MERS-CoV S1 IgG ELISA tests. In most patients, robust antibody responses developed by the third week of illness. Delayed antibody responses with the neutralization test were associated with more severe disease.

Absence of MERS-CoV antibodies in feral camels in Australia: Implications for the pathogen's origin and spread

One Health, Dec 2015

 Here we report that during a focussed surveillance study, no serological evidence was found for the presence of MERS-CoV in the camels in the Australian population. This finding presents various hypotheses about the timing of the emergence and spread of MERS-CoV throughout populations of camels in Africa and Asia, which can be partially resolved by testing sera from camels from the original source region, which we have inferred was mainly northwestern Pakistan.

Is the Saudi public aware of Middle East respiratory syndrome?

Journal of Infection and Public Health, Nov 2015

To limit the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health tried to raise public awareness using different public campaigns. We aimed to measure public awareness of MERS in Saudi Arabia.


Infection Risk for Persons Exposed to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A H5 Virus–Infected Birds, United States, December 2014–March 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

Newly emerged highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A H5 viruses have caused outbreaks among birds in the United States. These viruses differ genetically from HPAI H5 viruses that previously caused human illness, most notably in Asia and Africa. To assess the risk for animal-to-human HPAI H5 virus transmission in the United States, we determined the number of persons with self-reported exposure...

Replication Capacity of Avian Influenza A(H9N2) Virus in Pet Birds and Mammals, Bangladesh

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

Avian influenza A(H9N2) is an agricultural and public health threat. We characterized an H9N2 virus from a pet market in Bangladesh and demonstrated replication in samples from pet birds, swine tissues, human airway and ocular cells, and ferrets.

Increased Number of Human Cases of Influenza Virus A(H5N1) Infection, Egypt, 2014–15

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

During November 2014–April 2015, a total of 165 case-patients with influenza virus A(H5N1) infection, including 6 clusters and 51 deaths, were identified in Egypt. Among infected persons, 99% reported poultry exposure: 19% to ill poultry and 35% to dead poultry. Only 1 person reported wearing personal protective equipment while working with poultry.

A modelling study of human infections with avian influenza A H7N9 virus in mainland China

International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Nov 2015

We constructed a mathematical model for transmission dynamics of avian influenza A H7N9 virus in human and poultry populations. Parameters in the model were estimated using publicly available nationwide surveillance data on animals and human infections.

Sentinel model for influenza A virus monitoring in free-grazing ducks in Thailand

Veterinary Microbiology, January 2016

In this study, the sentinel model for IAV monitoring was conducted over 4 months in two free-grazing duck flocks. IAV subtypes H4N6 (n = 1) and H3N8 (n = 5) were isolated from sentinel ducks at the ages of 13 and 15 weeks.

Experimental infection of highly and low pathogenic avian influenza viruses to chickens, ducks, tree sparrows, jungle crows, and black rats for the evaluation of their roles in virus transmission

Veterinary Microbiology, January 2016

Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) have spread in both poultry and wild birds. Determining transmission routes of these viruses during an outbreak is essential for the control of avian influenza. It has been widely postulated that migratory ducks play crucial roles in the widespread dissemination of HPAIVs in poultry by carrying viruses along with their migrations; however close contacts between wild migratory ducks and poultry are less likely in modern industrial poultry farming settings.


Agencies struggle with Europe's complex refugee crisis

The Lancet, Nov 2015

The Europe Union (EU), widely criticised for its slow and splintered response to the refugee crisis, is now finding itself caught in a political and economic quagmire, exposing its fragmented structure. The Dublin Regulation and the Schengen Agreement, EU law concerning asylum applications, have either been suspended, or are impracticable in the current climate. The system, quite simply, has broken down.

Fact sheet: health in the context of the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Nov 2015

This fact sheet provides a short overview of why health is a key element of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. It summarizes the main features and priorities of the Sendai Framework related to health and health systems and the seven global targets to achieve by 2030. Further, the fact sheet provides information about how the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is working with key partners to advance Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction implementation in Health sector.

Religious Beliefs, PTSD, Depression and Resilience in Survivors of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

Journal of Affective Disorders, January 2016

This study examines relationships between religious beliefs regarding the origin of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and posttraumatic symptomatology as well as depressive symptoms and resilience among its survivors.

Sleep deprivation and adverse health effects in United States Coast Guard responders to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Sleep Health, December 2015

Disaster responders are increasingly called upon to assist in various natural and manmade disasters. A critical safety concern for this population is sleep deprivation; however, there are limited published data regarding sleep deprivation and disaster responder safety.


Assessment of influenza vaccine effectiveness in a sentinel surveillance network 2010-13, United States

Vaccines, November 2015

We conducted surveillance of patients with acute respiratory illnesses in 101 clinics across the US during three consecutive influenza seasons. We analyzed laboratory testing results for influenza virus, self-reported vaccine history, and patient characteristics, defining cases as patients who tested positive for influenza virus and controls as patients who tested negative for influenza virus.


Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southeastern United States

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

Nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are naturally infected with Mycobacterium leprae and have been implicated in zoonotic transmission of leprosy. Early studies found this disease mainly in Texas and Louisiana, but armadillos in the southeastern United States appeared to be free of infection.

Anthropomorphism to Zoonoses: Two Inevitable Consequences of Human–Animal Relationships

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dec 2015

About the this EID issue cover: Zoonoses are also an inevitable consequence of human−animal relationships and interactions. Zoonotic diseases can be caused by organisms such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, and it is estimated that more than 60% of infectious diseases of humans are spread from animals. Knowing which animals could have zoonotic diseases proves challenging because both domesticated animals and wildlife may appear and act healthy and yet be carrying lethal pathogens.