Context The exchange of health information on the Internet has been heralded as an opportunity to improve public health surveillance. In a field that has traditionally relied on an established system of mandatory and voluntary reporting of known infectious diseases by doctors and laboratories to governmental agencies, innovations in social media and so-called user-generated information could lead to faster recognition of cases of infectious disease. More direct access to such data could enable surveillance epidemiologists to detect potential public health threats such as rare, new diseases or early-level warnings for epidemics. But how useful are data from social media and the Internet, and what is the potential to enhance surveillance? The challenges of using these emerging surveillance systems for infectious disease epidemiology, including the specific resources needed, technical requirements, and acceptability to public health practitioners and policymakers, have wide-reaching implications for public health surveillance in the 21st century.
A recent paper from Poenaru et al refines a proposal for an alternative approach to quantifying the global burden of surgical disease – a conceptual…
Objective: Intravaginal exposure to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) acutely recruits interferon-alpha (IFN-α) producing plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) and CD4+ T-lymphocyte targets to the endocervix of nonhuman primates.
Background: Recent studies show an increase in the frequency of X4-tropism in African HIV-1 subtype C (HIV-1C) strains and among Indian children with a longer duration of infection.
by Camille Escadafal, Oumar Faye, Amadou Alpha Sall, Ousmane Faye, Manfred Weidmann, Oliver Strohmeier, Felix von Stetten, Josef Drexler, Michael Eberhard, Matthias Niedrig, Pranav Patel Background Yellow fever (YF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The causative agent, the yellow fever virus (YFV), is found in tropical and subtropical areas of South America and Africa. Although a vaccine is available since the 1930s, YF still causes thousands of deaths and several outbreaks have recently occurred in Africa. Therefore, rapid and reliable diagnostic methods easy to perform in low-resources settings could have a major impact on early detection of outbreaks and implementation of appropriate response strategies such as vaccination and/or vector control. Methodology The aim of this study was to develop a YFV nucleic acid detection method applicable in outbreak investigations and surveillance studies in low-resource and field settings
by Janet Njelesani, Russell Dacombe, Tanith Palmer, Helen Smith, Benjamin Koudou, Moses Bockarie, Imelda Bates Background The lack of capacity in laboratory systems is a major barrier to achieving the aims of the London Declaration (2012) on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). To counter this, capacity strengthening initiatives have been carried out in NTD laboratories worldwide. Many of these initiatives focus on individuals’ skills or institutional processes and structures ignoring the crucial interactions between the laboratory and the wider national and international context. Furthermore, rigorous methods to assess these initiatives once they have been implemented are scarce. To address these gaps we developed a set of assessment and monitoring tools that can be used to determine the capacities required and achieved by laboratory systems at the individual, organizational, and national/international levels to support the control of NTDs
by María Flor García-Mayoral, Miguel Angel Treviño, Teresa Pérez-Piñar, María Luisa Caballero, Tobias Knaute, Ana Umpierrez, Marta Bruix, Rosa Rodríguez-Pérez Background Anisakiasis is a re-emerging global disease caused by consumption of raw or lightly cooked fish contaminated with L3 Anisakis larvae. This zoonotic disease is characterized by severe gastrointestinal and/or allergic symptoms which may misdiagnosed as appendicitis, gastric ulcer or other food allergies.The Anisakis allergen Ani s 5 is a protein belonging to the SXP/RAL-2 family; it is detected exclusively in nematodes. Previous studies showed that SXP/RAL-2 proteins are active antigens; however, their structure and function remain unknown.The aim of this study was to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of Ani s 5 and its main IgE and IgG4 binding regions. Methodology/Principal Findings The tertiary structure of recombinant Ani s 5 in solution was solved by nuclear magnetic resonance.
by Giorgi Babuadze, Jorge Alvar, Daniel Argaw, Harry P. de Koning, Merab Iosava, Merab Kekelidze, Nikoloz Tsertsvadze, David Tsereteli, Giorgi Chakhunashvili, Tamar Mamatsashvili, Nino Beria, Irine Kalandadze, Mikhail Ejov, Paata Imnadze This study investigated the transmission and prevalence of Leishmania parasite infection of humans in two foci of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in Georgia, the well known focus in Tbilisi in the East, and in Kutaisi, a new focus in the West of the country. The seroprevalence of canine leishmaniasis was investigated in order to understand the zoonotic transmission. Blood samples of 1575 dogs (stray and pet) and 77 wild canids were tested for VL by Kalazar Detect rK39 rapid diagnostic tests. Three districts were investigated in Tbilisi and one in Kutaisi
by Maroya Spalding Walters, Janell Routh, Matthew Mikoleit, Samuel Kadivane, Caroline Ouma, Denis Mubiru, Ben Mbusa, Amos Murangi, Emmanuel Ejoku, Absalom Rwantangle, Uziah Kule, John Lule, Nancy Garrett, Jessica Halpin, Nikki Maxwell, Atek Kagirita, Fred Mulabya, Issa Makumbi, Molly Freeman, Kevin Joyce, Vince Hill, Robert Downing, Eric Mintz Background Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is transmitted by fecally contaminated food and water and causes approximately 22 million typhoid fever infections worldwide each year. Most cases occur in developing countries, where approximately 4% of patients develop intestinal perforation (IP). In Kasese District, Uganda, a typhoid fever outbreak notable for a high IP rate began in 2008. We report that this outbreak continued through 2011, when it spread to the neighboring district of Bundibugyo. Methodology/Principal Findings A suspected typhoid fever case was defined as IP or symptoms of fever, abdominal pain, and ≥1 of the following: gastrointestinal disruptions, body weakness, joint pain, headache, clinically suspected IP, or non-responsiveness to antimalarial medications
Objective To assess the evidence of the impact of user fees on maternal health service utilization and related health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries, as well as their impact on inequalities in these outcomes.
This article is from - Using Social Media and Internet Data for Public Health Surveillance: The Importance of Talking