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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 18, No. 3, March 2012


The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the March 2012 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature diseases associated with farms. The first two articles are embargoed until February 15, 2012, at 12 p.m. EDT. The third article is posted online at:

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. Chicken as Reservoir for Human Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli, Catherine Racicot Bergeron et al.

Urinary tract infections can be difficult and expensive to treat. Most (85 percent) are caused by bacteria called E. coli. Historically, doctors have believed that these urinary tract E. coli came from the patient’s own intestines. But recently, Canadian researchers discovered that not only can these E. coli come from outside the patient’s intestines, they can actually come from outside the patient: from food. After comparing the genetic makeup of E. coli from human urinary tract infections with E. coli from retail meat (chicken, beef, and pork), they concluded that chickens are a likely source of E. coli and that the infections probably come directly from the chickens themselves, not from human contamination during food processing. Therefore, prevention of E. coli urinary tract infections in people might need to start on chicken farms.

Amee R. Manges, MPH, PhD
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
McGill University
Montréal, CANADA

2. Adenovirus-associated Deaths in US Military during Postvaccination Period, 1999–2010, Robert N. Potter et al.

For about 50 years, adenovirus has been a major cause of serious respiratory illness in US active duty military members, particularly at basic training camps. During 1971­­­–1999, a vaccine program successfully lowered the number of illnesses and deaths from adenovirus infection. However, a recent study has shown that since the program ended, the number of deaths might be creeping back up. A new program, which uses second-generation adenovirus vaccines approved in 2011, is expected to again lower the number of illnesses and deaths caused by adenovirus.

Robert N. Potter, DVM, MPH
Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s System, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware

3. Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Taenia solium Cysticerci among Refugees Resettled in United States, Seth E. O’Neal, et al.

Cysticercosis is an infection caused by a pork tapeworm that creates cysts in different areas of the human body. Sometimes, these parasites can get into the infected patient’s brain and lead to epilepsy or other neurologic disorders. Cysticercosis is most common in developing countries that have poor sanitation and where pigs feed on human waste; however, cases in the United States are increasing. A recent study found that many refugees who settle in the United States, including those from Burma, Laos, Burundi, and Bhutan, have been infected with the tapeworm. The occurrence of cysticercosis among these groups has clinical and public health implications because US physicians might not be familiar with this disease and its symptoms. Cysticercosis should be suspected in refugees who have seizures, headache, or other unexplained neurologic symptoms. Physicians should also be aware that treatment for intestinal parasites, routinely given to refugees before they leave their homeland, can cause serious neurologic reactions in those already infected with the tapeworm.

Seth O’Neal, MD, MPH
Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon



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