July 2019

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 25, No. 7, July 2019

Important 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. Once the embargo lifts, this month’s articles will be found in the Ahead of Print section of the EID website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/ahead-of-print.

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the July 2019 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature Emerging Viruses. The articles are embargoed until June 12, 2019, at 12 p.m. EDT.

1.      Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa at US Emerging Infections Program Sites, 2015, Maroya Spalding Walters et al..

Carbapenems are a class of antibiotics reserved for treatment of severe antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. They are critically important for treatment of infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which has innate resistance to many commonly used antibiotics and can be challenging to treat. Carbapenem resistance in P. aeruginosa is therefore an important clinical and public health concern. Through CDC’s Emerging Infections Program, researchers piloted surveillance for Carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (CRPA) in 5 US metropolitan areas during July–October 2015 with the objective of developing a laboratory-based surveillance system to describe the epidemiology of CRPA. They found that CRPA occurred primarily among persons with preexisting medical conditions who had recently received healthcare. Also, the identified CRPA strains displayed varied antimicrobial susceptibilities, ranging from extensively drug-resistant to resistant only to carbapenems. Few isolates produced carbapenemases, a form of carbapenem resistance that has been associated with rapid spread in healthcare settings. Based on findings from this pilot study, the Emerging Infections Program began population-based surveillance at 8 US sites in August 2016 to better describe the epidemiology of CRPA and monitor changes in its incidence.

Contact: CDC Media Relations; phone: 404-639-3286 or email: media@cdc.gov.

2.    Mitochondrial Junction Region as Genotyping Marker for Cyclospora cayetanensis, Fernanda S. Nascimento et al.

Cyclosporiasis is a foodborne intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. Outbreak investigations, which often involve asking patients about whether they ate or drank certain foods, can take several weeks. That investigative approach is limited by the time lag between food exposure and symptom onset, and by relying on patients to recall which foods they consumed or even which specific ingredients were used to make those foods. Investigations could be completed sooner by matching the genetic sequences of the causative organisms isolated from patients with those of organisms from the contaminated food; however, methods that can reliably differentiate C. cayetanensis isolates have been lacking. A recent CDC study found that C. cayetanensis isolates can be differentiated by comparing the genetic structure (sequence) of the DNA from a specific region (the short junction region) of cyclospora mitochondria (specialized structures within cells). Matching the DNA sequences from this region (referred to as a genotyping marker) might help outbreak investigators link the organism from patients with the organism in the food or ingredient causing illness and thus more quickly determine outbreak sources and prevent future cases.

Contact: Amy Rowland, CDC Center for Global Health; phone: 770-488-5104 or email: isc4@cdc.gov


Page last reviewed: August 22, 2019