Flu Scan for Oct 08, 2015

Flu, pertussis vaccines in pregnancy
Flu viruses in breast cells
H5N1 in Nigeria

Coadministering Tdap, flu vaccine during pregnancy found safe

Administering tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine together with the flu vaccine during pregnancy was found as safe as administering them sequentially, according to a retrospective cohort study published this week in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The study included 36,844 US girls and women 14 to 49 who received both vaccines while pregnant at any point between Jan 1, 2007, and Nov 15, 2013. Of the participants, 8,464 (23%) received the vaccines during the same appointment, while 28,380 (77%) received them sequentially.

The researchers found no differences in preterm delivery, low birth weight, or small-for-gestational-age neonates between the two groups.
Oct 5 Obstet Gynecol study


Ferret study shows live flu viruses in breast tissue, milk

Influenza might be transmitted via infected mammary cells from mothers to breastfeeding infants, according to a ferret study today in PLoS Pathogens.

Toronto researchers nasally inoculated either mother or infant ferrets—known to be a good model for human infection—with 2009 H1N1 and noted that both infants and mothers became infected after one of the two were inoculated. The secondary infections followed illnesses in the animals that were first infected by a few days.

Wanting to explore the role of breastfeeding in flu infections, the team then examined virus presence in mammary tissue and in the mothers' milk. The mammary cells of all six mothers tested contained live flu virus, as did their nipples and milk.

And when the scientists directly inoculated the ferrets' mammary glands, they found their cells could be directly infected by flu virus and were able to produce live virus. They noted that infants nursed by these mothers then became infected, likely through the breast because the transmitted virus was found in the infants before it was detectable in their mothers' nasal fluid.

The researchers noted, however, that transmission unrelated to breastfeeding cannot be ruled out, and the results don't necessarily translate to humans.
Oct 8 PLoS Pathogens study
Oct 8
PLoS Pathogens news release


Nigeria reports 5 more H5N1 outbreaks

Five new H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in Nigeria have affected more than 9,000 poultry, the latest in a string of incursions caused by the disease this year, according to a report posted Oct 6 by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The outbreaks, which began from Sep 27 to Oct 1, are all in Rivers state in southern Nigeria, the hardest-hit region of the country. All told, 1,822 chickens and turkeys died from the disease out of 9,238 birds total.

Flocks ranged in size from 600 to 3,818 farm poultry. Samples tested positive for H5N1 on Oct 4 at the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, Plateau state. Disinfection and other response measures have been implemented.

Nigeria has now confirmed 89 outbreaks caused by H5N1 in 2015.
Oct 6 OIE report

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