OBJECTIVE: We investigated a large outbreak of community-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in southwestern Alaska to determine the extent of these infections and whether MRSA isolates were likely community acquired. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Rural southwestern Alaska. PATIENTS: All patients with a history of culture-confirmed S. aureus infection from March 1, 1999, through August 10, 2000. RESULTS: More than 80% of culture-confirmed S. aureus infections were methicillin resistant, and 84% of MRSA infections involved skin or soft tissue; invasive disease was rare. Most (77%) of the patients with MRSA skin infections had community-acquired MRSA (no hospitalization, surgery, dialysis, indwelling line or catheter, or admission to a long-term-care facility in the 12 months before infection). Patients with MRSA skin infections were more likely to have received a prescription for an antimicrobial agent in the 180 days before infection than were patients with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus skin infections. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the epidemiology of MRSA in rural southwestern Alaska has changed and suggest that the emergence of community-onset MRSA in this region was not related to spread of a hospital organism. Treatment guidelines were developed recommending that beta-lactam antimicrobial agents not be used as a first-line therapy for suspected S. aureus infections.
Comment In: Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2003 Jun;24(6):392-612828313
The duration of protection in children and adults resulting from hepatitis B vaccination is unknown. In 1981, we immunized a cohort of 1578 Alaska Native adults and children from 15 Alaska communities aged =6 months using 3 doses of plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine.
Persons were tested for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) levels 30 years after receiving the primary series. Those with levels
Arctic Investigations Program, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4055 Tudor Centre Dr, Anchorage, Alaska 99508. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Alaska Native people experience a high burden of Helicobacter pylori infection and concomitant high rates of gastric cancer. Additionally, the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant strains of H. pylori has been shown to be high in Alaska. We evaluated antimicrobial resistance over time among sentinel surveillance isolates and assessed risk factors for carrying resistant H. pylori.
Through Alaska's H. pylori sentinel surveillance system, we collected and cultured antral and fundal biopsies from Alaska Native patients undergoing esophagogastroduodenoscopy for clinical indications during 2000-2016. For positive cultures, we performed minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing for metronidazole, amoxicillin, clarithromycin, tetracycline, and levofloxacin.
We tested 800H. pylori isolates obtained from 763 patients. Metronidazole resistance was most common (342/800; 43%), followed by clarithromycin resistance (238/800; 30%), resistance to both clarithromycin and metronidazole (128/800; 16%), and levofloxacin resistance (113/800; 15%). Low proportions of isolates were resistant to amoxicillin and tetracycline. Levofloxacin resistance increased between 2000 and 2016 (p
Most persons with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United States are undiagnosed or linked to care. We describe a program for the management of Alaska Native patients infection utilizing a computerized registry and statewide liver clinics resulting in higher linkage to care (86%) than national estimates (~25%).
From 1998 to 2000, 13 rural Alaskan villages (population, 3326) were surveyed annually by nasopharyngeal cultures for Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage. Data regarding antibiotic use for the entire population was abstracted from clinic records. In 1999, education of medical providers and the community about appropriate antibiotic use began in 4 villages; this program was expanded to include all villages in 2000. Antibiotic courses per person decreased by 31% in the initial intervention villages and by 35% in the remaining villages after education (P
Helicobacter pylori infection is common in Alaska. The development of severe H. pylori disease is partially determined by the virulence of the infecting strain. Here we present vacA and cagA genotype data for H. pylori strains isolated from Alaskans and their correlation with clinical disease. We enrolled patients scheduled for esophagogastroduodenoscopy and positive for H. pylori infection. Gastric biopsy specimens from the stomach antrum and fundus were cultured. We performed PCR analysis of the H. pylori vacA gene and for the presence of the cagA gene and cagA empty site. We genotyped 515 H. pylori samples from 220 Native and 66 non-Native Alaskans. We detected the cagA gene in 242/286 (85%) persons; of 222 strains that could be subtyped, 95% (212) were non-Asian cagA and 3% (6) were East Asian cagA. After removing mixed infections (n = 17), 83% of H. pylori strains had either the vacA s1m1 (120/269) or s2m2 (103/269) genotype. Sixty-six percent (68/103) of H. pylori strains with the vacA s2m2 genotype also contained the cagA gene. Infection with an H. pylori strain having the cagA gene or vacA s1m1 genotype (compared with s1m2 and s2m2) was associated with a decreased risk of esophagitis (P = 0.003 and 0.0003, respectively). Infection with an H. pylori strain having the vacA s1m1 genotype (compared with s1m2 and s2m2) was associated with an increased risk of peptic ulcer disease (PUD) (P = 0.003). The majority of H. pylori strains in this study carried the non-Asian cagA gene and either the vacA s1m1 or s2m2 genotype. A majority of H. pylori strains with the vacA s2m2 genotype also contained the cagA gene. There was an association of H. pylori genotype with esophagitis and PUD.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) H5N1 viruses have infected poultry and wild birds on three continents with more than 600 reported human cases (59% mortality) since 2003. Wild aquatic birds are the natural reservoir for avian influenza A viruses, and migratory birds have been documented with HPAI H5N1 virus infection. Since 2005, clade 2.2 HPAI H5N1 viruses have spread from Asia to many countries.
We conducted a cross-sectional seroepidemiological survey in Anchorage and western Alaska to identify possible behaviors associated with migratory bird exposure and measure seropositivity to HPAI H5N1.
We enrolled rural subsistence bird hunters and their families, urban sport hunters, wildlife biologists, and a comparison group without bird contact. We interviewed participants regarding their exposures to wild birds and collected blood to perform serologic testing for antibodies against a clade 2.2 HPAI H5N1 virus strain.
Hunters and wildlife biologists reported exposures to wild migratory birds that may confer risk of infection with avian influenza A viruses, although none of the 916 participants had evidence of seropositivity to HPAI H5N1.
We characterized wild bird contact among Alaskans and behaviors that may influence risk of infection with avian influenza A viruses. Such knowledge can inform surveillance and risk communication surrounding HPAI H5N1 and other influenza viruses in a population with exposure to wild birds at a crossroads of intercontinental migratory flyways.
BACKGROUND: Community-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CO-MRSA) reports are increasing, and infections often involve soft tissue. During a CO-MRSA skin infection outbreak in Alaska, we assessed risk factors for disease and whether a virulence factor, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), could account for the high rates of MRSA skin infection in this region. METHODS: We conducted S. aureus surveillance in the outbreak region and a case-control study in 1 community, comparing 34 case patients with MRSA skin infection with 94 control subjects. An assessment of traditional saunas was performed. S. aureus isolates from regional surveillance were screened for PVL genes by use of polymerase chain reaction, and isolate relatedness was determined by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). RESULTS: Case patients received more antibiotic courses during the 12 months before the outbreak than did control subjects (median, 4 vs. 2 courses; P=.01) and were more likely to use MRSA-colonized saunas than were control subjects (44% vs. 13%; age-adjusted odds ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-12). The PVL genes were present in 110 (97%) of 113 MRSA isolates, compared with 0 of 81 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates (P
Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has been correlated with low serum ferritin and iron deficiency. As a secondary analysis of a study of H. pylori reinfection, we investigated the association of H. pylori infection and the effect of its eradication on serum ferritin and iron deficiency.
Methods: Alaska Native adults undergoing esophagogastroduodenoscopy had sera collected and a (13) C urea breath test (UBT) was performed. Those H. pylori positive were treated with an antibiotic regimen; those who tested negative 2 months after treatment were evaluated at 4, 6, 12, and 24 months by UBT and serum ferritin with an immunoradiometric assay. We excluded persons from further analysis if they were prescribed iron by their provider.
Results: We measured serum ferritin for 241 persons; 121/241 were H. pylori positive. The geometric mean ferritin (GMF) for persons with and without H. pylori infection was 37 µg/L and 50 µg/L, respectively (p = .04). At enrollment, 19/121 H. pylori-positive persons had iron deficiency compared with 8/120 H. pylori negative (p = .02). Among 66 persons tested at 24 months, the GMF was higher at 24 months (49.6 µg/L) versus enrollment (36.5 µg/L; p = .02). Six of 11 persons with iron deficiency at enrollment no longer had iron deficiency and had a higher GMF (p = .02) 24 months after treatment.
Conclusions: H. pylori infection was correlated with lower serum ferritin and iron deficiency. After H. pylori eradication, serum ferritin increased and approximately half of persons resolved their iron deficiency. Testing for H. pylori infection and subsequent treatment of those positive could be considered in persons with unexplained iron deficiency.