May 2017

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 23, No. 6, June 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 June 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 May 10, 2017, at 12 p.m. EDT.


1.     Isolated Case of Marburg Virus Disease, Kampala, Uganda, 2014, Luke Nyakarahuk et al.

Marburg virus belongs to the same family, Filoviridae, as Ebola virus. Marburg virus infection can present clinically with fever, headache, vomiting, hemorrhage and several other nonspecific symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish from other, more common, tropical and hemorrhagic diseases. Since 2011, Uganda has experienced 10 outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever, resulting in health care facilities and public health officials to have increased awareness and suspicion for these diseases and use personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves and gowns) when treating suspect cases. In September 2014, when a healthcare worker in Uganda was hospitalized with suspected hemorrhagic fever, infection control practices were quickly implemented by the hospital staff and the Uganda Ministry of Health, and diagnostic testing was rapidly performed at the and the Uganda Virus Research Institute. Test results indicated Marburg virus infection, and the patient soon died. The source of infection for this patient was never determined, nor did anyone else acquire the infection from this patient. Overall, containment of this case of Marburg virus disease to only one patient can be attributed to enhanced surveillance and rapid implementation of testing for viral hemorrhagic fevers, infection control and outbreak response measures.

Contact: CDC Press Office, 404-639-3286 or media@cdc.gov


2.    Invasive Serotype 35B Pneumococci Including an Expanding Serotype Switch Lineage, United States, 2015–2016, Sopio Chochua et al.

Since the year 2000, when the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV7) against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) was introduced, the emergence of new strains of pneumococci bacteria has hampered the success of the vaccine. Researchers at CDC used whole-genome sequencing to characterize more than 4,200 pneumococcal strains that caused IPD in the United States during 2015–2016, and identified nearly 200 of the nonvaccine serotype 35B variety. They found that penicillin-resistant 35B IPD increased during the years after PCV7 was introduced (2001–2009) and increased even further after the introduction of pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV-13) in 2010. In light of these findings, public health authorities will need to consider protection against serotype 35B pneumococcal strains in the development of next-generation pneumococcal vaccines.

Contact: CDC Press Office, 404-639-3286 or media@cdc.gov.


3.     Sustainability of High-Level Isolation Capabilities among US Ebola Treatment Centers, Jocelyn J. Herstein et al.

During the 2014–2016 outbreak of Ebola virus disease West Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated 56 hospitals across the United States as Ebola treatment centers. These facilities served as high-level isolation units, providing optimal infection containment and procedures specifically designed for the care of patients with highly infectious, life-threatening illnesses with limited treatment options (e.g., Ebola and severe acute respiratory syndrome, better known as SARS). However, without the impending threat of Ebola or another highly infectious disease on the immediate horizon, public attention to highly infectious disease preparedness can waver and governments often reprioritize and shift funding elsewhere. Researchers assessed the current capacity of Ebola treatment centers in the United States and found that the sustainability of those facilities depends on their ability to adapt their high-level isolation capabilities to other highly infectious diseases. Public health authorities will need to strategize for such a transition to maintain the ongoing preparedness of those centers for combatting the next deadly outbreak of infectious disease.

Contact: John J. Lowe, 402-552-3001, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, jjlowe@unmc.edu.

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Page last reviewed: May 10, 2017