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July 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 21, No. 7, (July 2015)


The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the July 2015 issues of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC's monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature malaria. The articles are embargoed until June 10, 2015, 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.

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1. Malaria Prevalence among Young Infants in Different Transmission Settings, Africa, Serign J. Ceesay, et al.

In young infants (0–6 months of age), malaria has major health consequences, most notably anemia. However, it has been thought that infants in this age group are protected against malaria by transfer of protective antibodies from their mothers and by the presence of fetal hemoglobin. Therefore, research into malaria prevention and treatment has not focused on this age group, resulting in young infants receiving off-label treatments intended for older infants and children. A recent study in 3 countries where malaria is common (Guinea, The Gambia, and Benin) showed that malaria in young infants is not rare (approximately 4%–22% of infants were infected) and that the period of maternal protection is shorter than 6 months.  Prevention strategies, drugs, and treatment guidelines specifically for young infants are needed.

Umberto D'Alessandro
Medical Research Council Unit, Banjul, The Gambia

2. Assessment of Arbovirus Surveillance 13 Years after Introduction of West Nile Virus, United States, James L. Hadler et al.

After the emergence of West Nile virus in the United States in 1999, federal funds were appropriated to states and local health departments to enable tracking of this and other mosquito-borne viruses (such as dengue and chikungunya). By 2012, this funding had been reduced by 61%. A recent evaluation found that in 2004 the tracking systems (called arboviral surveillance) were adequate (nearly all states and local health departments had well-developed systems), but in 2012, they were inadequate in many states. States with inadequate arboviral surveillance have limited ability to rapidly detect and use information needed to respond to outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted diseases.

James L. Hadler
Emerging Infections Program, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT or

3. Determination of Predominance of Influenza Virus Strains in the Americas, Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, et al.

Influenza viruses are notorious for being able to modify their genetic content, which can minimize vaccine effectiveness. Each year, influenza vaccines must be tailored to match circulating virus strains. Vaccine development takes time (about 6 months) and money so early information about which strains are likely to circulate in a given region in a given year is helpful. For example, do virus strains predominant in North America subsequently become predominant in South America and vice versa? A study of influenza epidemics in North, Central, and South America during 2001-2014 indicated that the answer is yes. Thus, health officials in North and South America may find clues about which influenza virus strains will predominate during an upcoming season by observing the predominant strains in the each other's regions. This information could help public health officials in both hemispheres prepare for upcoming influenza seasons.

Contact Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner via: 
CDC Press Office