News Scan for May 08, 2017

Saudi MERS case
Resistance, stewardship in Asia Pacific
More chikungunya
New rotavirus vaccine

New case of MERS reported in Riyadh

On May 6 the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a new confirmed case of MERS-CoV in Riyadh.

A 46-year-old Saudi man was diagnosed as having MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) after showing symptoms of the virus. He is in stable condition, and his infection is listed as "primary," meaning it is unlikely he contracted the disease from another person.

The new case brings Saudi Arabia's total to 1,601 MERS-CoV cases, 662 of them fatal, since the virus was first detected in humans in 2012. Six people are still being treated for their infections, the MOH said.
May 6 MOH report


Special issue focuses on resistance, stewardship in Asia Pacific

The latest issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases includes a supplement on infection prevention and control in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship.

As a geographic source for emerging infectious diseases, the Asia-Pacific region has become a significant area of concern for global health officials. With high rates of healthcare-associated infections and widespread availability of antimicrobial agents, the steady emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in Asia-Pacific healthcare settings, and how to slow that emergence, is a particular concern.

The supplement focuses on three key themes of infection prevention and control in healthcare settings across the Asia-Pacific region: (1) epidemiology and evidence to support prevention and control interventions, (2) enhancements to infection prevention and control in healthcare settings, and (3) practices associated with the containment of emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks.

Epidemiologic data and evidence to support prevention and control interventions is covered in two national surveys of best practices and four epidemiology studies, including two studies that look at carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Singapore. Assessments of efforts to enhance infection prevention and control include a review of antimicrobial stewardship programs in inpatient settings in the region, as well as studies on the innovative use of electronic medical records and molecular diagnostics to identify patients with bacterial infections.

The supplement also includes studies on two outbreaks of bacterial pathogens—a large foodborne outbreak of Streptococcus agalactiae infection in Singapore and a pseudo-outbreak of Bacillus bacteremia in Hong Kong linked to contaminated bed linens.

 "The publications in this issue support future work focused on continued generation of evidence and dissemination of data, ongoing microbial surveillance, and implementation, if not adoption, of effective prevention strategies to contain the spread of MDROs and key emerging infectious diseases in the region," the authors of a supplement overview write.
May 2017 Clin Infect Dis supplement

PAHO reports more than 900 new chikungunya cases

Countries in the Americas reported 907 new chikungunya cases, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) noted late last week, another week that saw no report from Brazil, which has accounted for the most cases by far this year and last year.

The case count for 2017 has now reached 31,573, according to PAHO's May 5 update. The agency reported 825 cases the week before.

The lion's share of new cases were in Bolivia, which reported 750 for the week and 1,289 for the year. Peru logged 97 new cases and 655 so far in 2017.

Brazil has not reported its most recent 6 weeks of data, and it has accounted for 85% of cases so far this year. Many nations, as well, have not reported on their chikungunya situation for weeks. PAHO reported no new deaths last week, with that number holding at seven, all in Brazil.

The chikungunya outbreak began in late 2013 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin and has now sickened at least 2,418,600 people.
May 5 PAHO update


Study shows rotavirus vaccine is safe, effective

A new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases showed that an experimental injected rotavirus vaccine was safe and immunogenic during a small trial in South Africa. These results will help inform phase 1 and 2 trials currently under way that will help assess if the injected vaccine is a useful alternative to oral rotavirus vaccine.

While the oral rotavirus vaccine is regularly used in high- and middle-income countries, it is less successful in low-income countries. This randomized, controlled trial in 162 healthy babies and toddlers measured the safety and adverse effects during three injections of increasing doses of the new parenteral subunit vaccine, called P2-VP8-P[8].

Almost all participants (98%) showed a seroresponse 4 weeks after the third injection. There was no clear dose-response seen between groups given vaccines made with 10, 30, or 60 microgram of antigen.

"The P2-VP8-P[8] vaccine was found to be safe and immunogenic, with evidence that it might provide protection against rotavirus disease in infants," the authors concluded.

Rotavirus is one of the leading causes of severe childhood diarrhea in Africa.
May 5 Lancet Infect Dis study

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