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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 18, No. 2, (February 2012)


The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the February 2012 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. The articles are embargoed until January 11, 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. Non–O157 Shiga Toxin–producing Escherichi coli Associated with Venison Joshua M. Rounds, et al.

News reports of “E. coli outbreaks” usually refer to Shiga toxin–producing E. coli O157. But there are other types of Shiga toxin–producing E. coli, often called STEC,about which less is known. For these other types of STEC, what is the source? What are the risk factors? An outbreak among 29 high school students in Minnesota provided some answers. The source of this outbreak was a white-tailed deer that had been butchered and eaten at the school. The risk factors for infection were handling raw or eating undercooked venison. To prevent this type of STECinfection, people should handle and cook venison with the same caution recommended for other meats.

Mr. Joshua Rounds
Minnesota Department of Health

2. Invasive Pneumococcal Pneumonia with Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity, Hong Zhou et al.

Each year, especially in the winter, many get sick and some die of invasive pneumococcal pneumonia. Does this type of pneumonia increase in the winter because people are in closer contact indoors?  Or are people more susceptible to this bacterial disease after having had a seasonal respiratory virus infection?  A season-by-season analysis found an association between pneumococcal pneumonia and two viruses (influenza and respiratory syncytial virus). The association varied by season and was strongest when the predominant influenza virus subtype was H3N2. Vaccination against influenza and RSV should also help protect against pneumococcal pneumonia.

Dr. Michael Haber
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University, Atlanta

3. Association of Human Bocavirus 1 Infection with Respiratory Disease in Childhood Follow-up Study, Finland, Mira Meriluoto et al.

Since its discovery in 2005, human bocavirus type 1 has often been found in the upper airways of young children with respiratory disease. But is this virus the cause of the respiratory disease or just an innocent bystander? A unique study in Finland, which examined follow-up blood samples of 109 healthy children with no underlying illness starting at birth and until they were 13 years of age, found that acute bocavirus infection resulted in respiratory disease. All children had been infected by age 6. Most retained their antibodies to this virus; some lost them. Children who were later re-exposed to bocavirus did not get sick from this virus. Thus, human bocavirus type 1 is a major cause of respiratory disease in childhood.

Dr. Maria Söderlund-Venermo
Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland



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