News Scan for Jul 15, 2019

US measles
Missed childhood vaccines
Chinese probiotics

CDC tracks 14 more measles cases, outbreaks reduced to 3

For the second week in a row the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 14 new measles cases across the United States, raising this year's total number of cases to 1,123 in 28 states.

It's a sign of slowing transmission in a record-breaking year, which has seen the most cases since 1992 and the most since the US eliminated measles in 2000.

The CDC is now tracing three ongoing outbreaks (three or more connected cases), including outbreaks in New York City, New York's Rockland County, and Washington State, down from four outbreaks last week.

"These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines, where large measles outbreaks are occurring," the CDC said.
Jul 15 CDC update


WHO: 20 million children missed measles, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines in 2018

According to new data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, more than 1 in 10 children worldwide missed a dose of measles, diphtheria, or tetanus vaccines in 2018.

"Vaccines are one of our most important tools for preventing outbreaks and keeping the world safe,"said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, director-general of the WHO."While most children today are being vaccinated, far too many are left behind. Unacceptably, it's often those who are most at risk– the poorest, the most marginalized, those touched by conflict or forced from their homes – who are persistently missed."

Since 2010, global coverage of these three vaccines has hovered around 86%, which falls short of the 95% coverage goal needed to achieve herd immunity.

Almost half of the 20 million children live in 16 countries, including Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Current measles outbreaks are good real-time indicators of vaccination levels, the WHO said, because the disease is so contagious and spreads so quickly among the unvaccinated. In 2018almost 350,000 measles cases were reported globally, more than doubling from 2017, the WHO said.
Ju1 15 WHO news story

Study demonstrates spillover effect of probiotics

Chinese researchers have for the first time demonstrated that one-third of commercial probiotics used in agriculture were contaminated with life-threatening pathogens such as Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study was conducted between 2016 and 2018, and was based on samples collected from a chicken farm in Anshan that used probiotics as a feed supplement, and a nearby fish farm that used groundwater as a water source.

A total of 123 probiotic Bacillus spp. isolates were obtained from the 92 brands of probiotics, of which 45 isolates were resistant to antibiotics. Furthermore, the authors wrote that genomic surveillance of the chicken farm identified an anthrax toxin-positive Bacillus cereus strain in a probiotic feed supplement, which was transferred into the groundwater at the fish farm.

Retrospective analysis of surveillance data from 2015 through 2018 in three provinces found two B cereus strains from humans with intestinal anthrax symptoms and confirmed the transmission of B cereus from farm to human.

"This study provides the first national safety survey of animal-use probiotics in China and confirms the spillover effects of probiotics from the farms to human. These results suggest that the large-scale application of pathogen-containing probiotics leads to the transfer of pathogens, with worrisome implications for public health," the authors concluded.

The findings are important from a One Health perspective on probiotic use, the authors said. Because probiotic feed supplements are usually used in large quantities, the findings of this study demonstrate a threat to human health.
Jul 15 Clin Infect Dis study

Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation Gilead 
Grant support for ASP provided by


  Become an underwriter»