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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 18, No. 12, December 2012

Disclaimer

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the November 2012 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature analysis of large datasets and World Pneumonia Day. The articles are embargoed until October 10, 2012, at 12 p.m. EDT

Note: Not all articles published in EID represent work done at CDC. In your stories, please clarify whether a study was conducted by CDC (“a CDC study”) or by another institution (“a study published by CDC”). The opinions expressed by authors contributing to EID do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CDC or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated.

1. Farm Animal Contact as Risk Factor for Transmission of Bovine-associated Salmonella Subtypes, Kevin J. Cummings et al.

When we hear about salmonellosis, we usually think of contaminated food. And indeed, most cases are thought to be caused by consumption of undercooked eggs, poultry, beef, and pork; unpasteurized dairy products; and raw vegetables. However, when researchers looked for other risk factors, specifically for salmonellosis caused by bovine-associated subtypes, they found that direct contact with farm animals, especially cattle, also increases risk for this infection. Therefore, salmonellosis prevention should focus on safe animal contact as well as food safety.

Contact:
Kevin J. Cummings
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University
4458 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4458
email: kcummings@cvm.tamu.edu

2. Prion in Saliva of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy–infected Cattle, Hiroyuki Okada et al.

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 left thousands of people out in the cold without utilities, food, water, or transportation. Cases of pneumonia increased dramatically. Did these harsh conditions change the characteristics of pneumonia before and after the disaster? Researchers found no differences in rapidity of illness onset, illness severity, patient ages, death rates, underlying conditions, or drug resistance. They did, however, find that the type of bacteria responsible varied by region (flooded versus not flooded). Cold shock might have increased susceptibility to certain bacteria. Overall, researchers concluded that pneumonia after the disaster occurred in small regional outbreaks rather than one large widespread outbreak.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a disease of cattle and has been linked to a fatal human disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Typically, BSE in cattle has been diagnosed by testing brain tissue postmortem. Recently, however, researchers have found the infectious agent in the saliva of live BSE-infected cattle.  Although this finding does not prove that BSE can be spread by contact with cattle saliva and other body fluids, it indicates that the BSE agent can be found in more peripheral tissues than previously thought.

Contact:
Yuichi Murayama
Prion Disease Research Center
National Institute of Animal Health
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
3-1-5 Kan-nondai
Tsukuba, Ibaraki
305-0856, Japan
ymura@affrc.go.jp

3..     Surveillance of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Transmitted by Small Companion Animals, Michael J. Day et al.

Most emerging infectious diseases of humans come from animals. International health agencies monitor these diseases, but they do so only for humans and livestock, not for companion dogs and cats. The societal value of interacting with companion animals (positive effects on human health, wellbeing and development) is well proven, but as dogs and cats have moved from the barn, to the house, to the bedroom, the potential for disease spread to humans increases. Control of diseases among dogs and cats is a good way to prevent spread to humans. A global system to monitor infectious diseases of companion dogs and cats is therefore needed, but presents major political, financial, and scientific challenges. To address these challenges, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association formed a One Health Committee—One Health is an initiative to link human and veterinary medicine. This international committee tackles these challenges and proposes a way to develop a global monitoring system for infectious diseases of companion dogs and cats.

Contact:
Joanne Fryer
University of Bristol Press Office
Bristol, UK
+ 44 (0)117 331 7276
+44 (0)7747 768805
Joanne.Fryer@bristol.ac.uk

Michael J. Day
School of Veterinary Sciences
University of Bristol
Langford, Somerset
BS40 5DU, UK
m.j.day@bristol.ac.uk

4. Reptile- and Amphibian-associated Salmonellosis in Childcare Centers, United States, Neil M. Vora et al.

Pets offer benefits to humans, but can also pose a health risk. Reptiles and amphibians, for example, can spread Salmonella to children. The CDC recommends that these animals not be allowed in child care centers. Nevertheless, reptiles and amphibians are occasionally kept in child care centers for educational purposes. A recent survey identified that only a minority of states have regulations banning reptiles and amphibians from child care centers. Only twenty-five states require staff and/or children to wash hands after touching animals in child care centers. Updating state regulations for child care centers to reflect available evidence on preventing reptile- and amphibian-associated salmonellosis may better protect the health of children.

Contact:
Neil M. Vora/Kristine Smith
EcoHealth Alliance
460 W. 34th St
17th Floor
New York, NY 10001-2320
neilvora@gmail.com, ksmith@ecohealthalliance.org

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