News Scan for Oct 23, 2018

More Salmonella linked to beef
;
Dengue in Europe
;
Tularemia vaccine in rabbits

CDC: 63 more Salmonella cases linked to JBS Tolleson beef, 120 total

In an update today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced 63 more cases of Salmonella illnesses connected to tainted beef products from JBS Tolleson, Inc. The outbreak, caused by the Newport strain of the bacterium, now stands at 120 cases in 22 states.

Thirty-three people have been hospitalized during this outbreak, but no deaths have been reported. The most recent illness started on Sep 28, and 66 (93%) of 71 people interviewed during this outbreak reported eating ground beef at home in the week prior to illness. According to the CDC, ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 88, with a median age of 42, and 59% are men.

The outbreak is widespread across the United States, with California, Colorado, and Arizona reporting the most cases with 27, 23, and 21, respectively. Six states reported cases for the first time: Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington.

On Oct 4, JBS Tolleson, of Tolleson, Ariz., recalled 6.5 million pounds of raw beef products, including ground beef, that were possibly contaminated with Salmonella Newport and sold through several retailers, including Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, and Showcase. Recalled beef products were produced and packaged from Jul 26 to Sep 7.

The CDC urged people to throw out any recalled beef and practice safe handling of all ground beef products to reduce the risk of Salmonella infection. Ground beef should be cooked to 160°F (71°C) internal temperature to avoid illness.
Oct 23 CDC update

Oct 4 CIDRAP News story "FSIS recalls beef, ham in Salmonella, Listeria outbreaks"

 

France, Spain confirm 9 cases of locally transmitted dengue

Both France and Spain have recorded locally transmitted dengue cases in three separate outbreaks earlier this month, according to a risk assessment yesterday by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Three cases were recorded in Spain, and six in France, the first autochthonous dengue cases reported in the European Union since 2017.

"There is no epidemiological link between the two outbreaks in France (five cases in Saint Laurent du Var, one case in Montpellier), and it is uncertain whether the cases in Spain were infected in the region of Murcia or in the Province of Cadiz," the ECDC report said. "The virus was likely to have been introduced into these areas through viraemic travellers returning from endemic areas."

This is the first recorded cluster of locally transmitted dengue in Spain; France has seen small outbreaks of locally transmitted dengue since 2010. Dengue is not endemic in Europe and is instead imported by travelers in areas were Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are established.

Ae albopictus mosquitoes are active in France and Spain through December. Though visitors to the affected areas could in theory be infected with dengue, experts said the risk is very low.
Oct 22 ECDC
report

 

Inhaled prime-boost tularemia vaccine promising in rabbit study

A prime-boost regimen of a recombinant attenuated aerosol vaccine against Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia, protected rabbits in challenge experiments, a team based at the University of Pittsburgh reported yesterday in Public Library of Science (PLOS) One.

F tularensis is considered a tier one select agent and is also known to cause sporadic zoonotic and lab-acquired infections, but an investigational vaccine has never been licensed because of concerns about safety and efficacy, and scientists have been exploring other approaches.

Few studies of other vaccine candidates have moved beyond mouse models. In the current study, researchers sought whether two F tularensis mutants, when used in prime-boost vaccination, could improve survival after aerosol challenge in New Zealand white rabbits.

They found that the vaccine provided strong protection that was nearly complete, even at high challenge doses. "Future efforts will build on the results detailed here, particularly to determine the immunological mechanisms and antigens important for this protection," they wrote.
Oct 22 PLOS One abstract

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