February 2022

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 28, No. 2, February 2022

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the February 2022 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. The articles are embargoed until January 12, 2022, at noon Eastern time.

Important Note: Most articles that EID publishes do not represent work done at CDC or by CDC staff. In your stories, please use our suggested language to clarify whether a study was conducted by CDC (“a CDC study”) or by another institution (“a study published by ____ 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.

Please link directly to the actual journal article in your stories. Once the embargo lifts, this month’s articles will be found in the Early Release section of the EID website.

EID is publishing many articles on the COVID-19 pandemic. Because we publish those articles on an expedited track, and we have no embargo on their content, we do not include them in these monthly press notices. You may wish to subscribe to receive email notifications when EID publishes expedited articles as well as other types of articles.

Note that the most recent EID COVID-19 papers are at the top of the journal’s home page and also included in the Coronavirus Spotlight.

  1. Postmortem Surveillance for Ebola Virus Using OraQuick Ebola Rapid Diagnostic Tests, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2019–2020, Daniel Mukadi-Bamuleka et al.During August 2018–July 25, 2020, the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced its tenth and longest outbreak of Ebola virus disease. Challenges to controlling this outbreak included security threats, widespread community mistrust in response activities, and low acceptance of safe and dignified burials. Contact with the bodies of those who died of Ebola, which is also part of traditional local funeral practices, can lead to multiple chains of transmission. To increase trust and acceptance of safe burials by community members, as well as to strengthen surveillance, response partners trained local healthcare workers to test cadavers (with permission from families) in the use of Ebola rapid diagnostic tests. Safe burial teams were on standby if requested by families or if a test result was positive or inconclusive. Comparisons with molecular testing indicated no false-negative results from rapid testing. This postmortem surveillance decreased disease control challenges by providing fast results, engaging the community, and enabling timely public health actions.Contact: CDC Media Relations, phone: 404-639-3286 or email: media@cdc.gov
  2. Viral Interference between Respiratory Viruses, Jocelyne Piret and Guy BoivinSeveral respiratory viruses can circulate during the same period and infect a person’s respiratory tract (either at the same time or one after the other), leading to interactions between viruses. Infection by a first virus can enhance or reduce infection and replication of a second virus. Viral interference, where one virus prevents or reduces infection by another virus, probably occurs through a response mediated by interferons (signaling proteins released by host cells in response to viruses), which provides a temporary immunity to the host. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonpharmacologic interventions (the use of masks, social-distancing, etc.) seem to have prevented the circulation of many respiratory viruses, such as those that cause influenza. However, once those interventions cease, the circulation of seasonal respiratory viruses is expected to resume and will offer researchers an opportunity to study their interactions with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One potentially promising avenue of research involves using defective interfering viruses (mutated viruses that have lost a critical portion of their genomes and so are no longer infectious). Those defective interfering viruses are attractive candidates for developing antiviral drugs and substances that can be added to vaccines to boost their efficacy.Contact: Guy Boivin, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; email: guy.boivin@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca


Page last reviewed: January 12, 2022