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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 18, No. 5, May 2012


The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the May 2012 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature emerging viruses. The articles are embargoed until April 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. Pigs as Natural Hosts of Dientamoeba fragilis Genotypes Found in Humans, Simone M Cacciò et al.

The world is home to more than 1 billion pigs, which produce large quantities of feces. We know that some organisms in pig feces can cause human disease, and now we might have another to add to the list.  Little is known about where the common intestinal parasite Dientamoeba fragilis comes from and how it is spread. However, recent molecular analysis confirmed that the organism found in pigs is indeed the same as the one found in humans. Therefore, pigs (or their feces) might be a source of this parasitic infection in humans.

Simone M Cacciò,
Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases
Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

2. Use of Spatial Information to Predict Multidrug Resistance in Tuberculosis Patients, Peru, Hsien-Ho Lin et al.

Knowing whether a patient has multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is crucial for prescribing the best treatment. The challenge is choosing the most effective drug with the fewest side effects while saving the “big guns” for the most resistant infections. The best way to find out whether a patient has this type of infection is to conduct drug-susceptibility testing.  Unfortunately, this testing requires laboratory capabilities that are in short supply, so often only patients at high risk are tested.  But who is at high risk?  A recent study found an association between patients’ locations (health center at which they were seen) and likelihood of multidrug-resistant infection. Added to other known risk factors (young age, previous TB treatment, or contact with someone with similar infection), this information can further pinpoint who should be tested, which will ultimately lead to faster diagnoses, better treatments and less spread of multidrug-resistant TB.

Ted Cohen, MD, MPH, DPH
Assistant Professor in Medicine
Harvard School of Public Health

3. Sapovirus Outbreaks in Oregon and Minnesota, 2002–2009, Lore Elizabeth Lee et al.

Sapovirus gives new meaning to the phrase “cradle to grave.” Historically, sapovirus has been associated with gastrointestinal illness in children living in group settings such as hospitals, shelters, or refugee camps. But now, sapovirus outbreaks are occurring among elderly residents of long-term care and similar facilities. These elderly residents are especially vulnerable to rapidly transmitted gastrointestinal viruses and serious complications. This virus has been making the rounds in long-term care facilities since 2002, and outbreaks started increasing in 2007. Sapovirus testing should be added to routine diagnostic workups for gastrointestinal infections, regardless of patient age group. Results can be used to develop prevention, control, and treatment guidelines, especially for vulnerable elderly populations.

Lore Elizabeth Lee, MPH
Oregon Public Health Division



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