Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

October 2017

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 23, No. 11, November 2017

Note: Not all articles that EID publishes represent work done at CDC or by CDC staff. In your stories, please clarify whether a study was conducted by CDC (“a CDC study”) or by another institution (“a study published by CDC in the EID journal”). Opinions expressed by authors contributing to EID do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CDC or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated. EID requests that, when possible, you include a live link to the actual journal article in your stories.

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the April 2017 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature Emerging Viruses. The articles are embargoed until October 11, 2017, at 12 p.m. EDT.

1.    Mycoplasma genitalium Infection in Adults Reporting Sexual Contact with Infected Partners, Melbourne, Australia, 2008–2016, Josephine B. Slifirski et al.

Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted bacterium that causes nongonococcal urethritis (inflammation of the urethra not associated with gonorrhea) and increases the risk for cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix), pelvic inflammatory disease, preterm delivery, and spontaneous abortion. Early diagnosis and effective treatment are critical for preventing illness and ongoing transmission. To assess the likelihood of transmission of M. genitalium after contact with an infected sex partner, researchers analyzed clinical records of patients attending a sexual health clinic during 2008–2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Among patients reporting sexual contact with an M. genitalium–infected person, infection was detected in 48% of women, 31% of heterosexual men, and 42% of men who have sex with men. These percentages approximate the likelihood of infection in a sexual contact of a person with confirmed infection, which can be used to argue for recommending treatment for that contact even before confirmatory test results are received (i.e., presumptive treatment). However, presumptive treatment is costly, can result in unnecessary use of antibiotics, and increases the risk for side effects, particularly from fluoroquinolones, a class of drugs used to treat infection with certain drug-resistant strains of M. genitalium. The findings from this study can help public health authorities develop guidelines for managing sexual contacts of M. genitalium–infected patients and provide evidence for discussion between clinicians and their patients about the appropriateness of presumptive treatment for a patient’s sexual contacts.

Contact: Tim Read, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, 580 Swanston St, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia; email:, Phone: +613438565002

2.   Street Cleaning Trucks as Potential Sources of Legionella pneumophila, Natalia Valero et al.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by breathing in Legionella bacteria. These bacteria live in water, especially artificial water systems that are kept around 35°C (95°F) and that are stagnant, poorly maintained, or not disinfected. Thus, in 2015, when Legionnaires’ disease was diagnosed for a street cleaning worker in Barcelona, Spain, researchers considered water from the cleaning trucks as a possible source of his infection. They tested water from truck tanks and found Legionella pneumophila bacteria in 2 of 4 trucks tested. Further testing indicated that the internal foam of the tanks could act as a reservoir where the bacteria could proliferate and that maintenance and routine cleaning (without removing the foam) did not eliminate the bacteria. The trucks’ high-pressure hoses probably discharged aerosols containing the bacteria, which could be inhaled by workers. To prevent other infections, the company responsible for the trucks removed the foam, cleaned and disinfected the water tanks, adopted a water management plan and stricter control measures, and now requires workers to wear personal protective equipment (e.g., face masks).

Contact: Natalia Valero, Agencia de Salut Publica de Barcelona, Environmental Quality and Intervention Service, Pl. Lesseps 1, Barcelona 08023, Spain; email:;