News Scan for Feb 06, 2020

News brief

One more Ebola case recorded in DRC

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO's) online Ebola dashboard, a new case recorded today raises the outbreak total to 3,430 confirmed cases in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The WHO also noted 123 probable cases, and 524 suspected cases still under investigation.

Since the outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces began in August 2018, 2,247 people have died from Ebola virus disease (EVD).

Yesterday the DRC's Ebola technical committee (CMRE) said the single case reported yesterday was from Beni, the current hot spot for the virus. It also said a new fatality took place in the community in Beni, which raises the risk of further transmission of the deadly virus.

The CMRE also updated vaccine totals, with 9,924 people having received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to date, and 287,652 having received Merck's rVSV-ZEBOV.
WHO Ebola dashboard
Feb 5 CMRE update


Study finds Chicago waterways harboring multidrug-resistance genes

A pilot study conducted in Chicago has identified waterways as a potential source of community-acquired multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (MDR-Ent), researchers reported this week in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Motivated by research showing a greater risk of community-acquired MDR-Ent infections in children in certain Chicago neighborhoods, mainly those in zip codes in close proximity to area waterways, a team that included researchers from Rush University Medical Center and Virginia Tech evaluated four Chicago waterways for MDR-Ent and associated antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) using culture-based and cultivation-independent shotgun metagenomic sequencing approaches. Three of the waterways (A1 – A3) are labelled safe for "incidental contact recreation" (fishing and boating) and one (A4) is a non-recreational waterway that carries non-disinfected water.

Analysis of the shotgun metagenomic sequence data revealed the presence of 37 different ARGs derived from Enterobacteriaceae, including those conferring resistance to quinolones, beta-lactamases, polymyxins, and aminoglycosides. The greatest number and highest relative abundances of Ent-associated ARGs was found in samples from A4, and A3—which was in the same area but not hydraulically connected—had a similar ARG profile. Escherichia coli concentrations were also highest in A4 and A3, and the ARGs of clinical concern were most abundant in A4 and A3. Among the ARGs of clinical concern were MCR-1 (which confers resistance to colistin), Qnr and OqxA/B (quinolones), CTX-M and OXA (beta-lactams), and AAC (aminoglycosides).

Fifteen E coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Enterobacter cloacae isolates cultured from A2-A4 samples were found to harbor transmissible ARGs that were also found in clinical isolates from children in the region, and 60% of those isolates were resistant to three or more antibiotic classes.

"These results suggest the potential for mobility of ARGs of clinical concern in waterways located in a high-risk region for MDR-Ent infections in Chicago," the authors of the paper write. "Ent and ARG profiles were consistent with the hypothesized concerns that waterways are a source of community-acquired MDR-Ent."
Feb 3 Antimicrob Agents Chemother abstract

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