We conducted a prospective community-based malaria surveillance study on a cohort of children 50% in children aged 2-9 years) in Vanuatu, Melanesia, supported by a concurrent prospective descriptive study of malaria admissions to the local hospital. The incidence of clinical malaria in children
Acute facial nerve palsy in children may be caused by infection by Borrelia burgdorferi, but the incidence of facial nerve palsy and the proportion of facial nerve palsy caused by Lyme borreliosis may vary considerably between areas. Furthermore, it is not well known how often facial nerve palsy caused by Lyme borreliosis is associated with meningitis. In this population-based study, children admitted for acute facial nerve palsy to Stavanger University Hospital during 9 y from 1996 to 2004 were investigated by a standard protocol including a lumbar puncture. A total of 115 children with facial nerve palsy were included, giving an annual incidence of 21 per 100,000 children. 75 (65%) of these were diagnosed as Lyme borreliosis, with all cases occurring from May to November. Lymphocytic meningitis was present in all but 1 of the children with facial nerve palsy caused by Lyme borreliosis where a lumbar puncture was performed (n = 73). In this endemic area for Borrelia burgdorferi, acute facial nerve palsy in children was common. The majority of cases were caused by Lyme borreliosis, and nearly all of these were associated with lymphocytic meningitis.
African swine fever (ASF) is a highly lethal viral disease of domestic pigs and wild boar. ASF was introduced into the southern Russian Federation in 2007 and is now reported to be spreading in populations of wild and domestic suids. An endemic situation in the local wild boar population would significantly complicate management of the disease in the livestock population. To date no sound method exists for identifying the characteristic pattern of an endemic situation, which describes infection persisting from generation to generation in the same population. To support urgent management decisions at the wildlife-livestock interface, a new algorithm was constructed to test the hypothesis of an endemic disease situation in wildlife on the basis of case reports. The approach described here uses spatial and temporal associations between observed diagnostic data to discriminate between endemic and non-endemic patterns of case occurrence. The algorithm was validated with data from an epidemiological simulation model and applied to ASF case data from southern Russia. Based on the algorithm and the diagnostic data available, the null hypothesis of an endemic situation of ASF in wild boar of the region was rejected.
BACKGROUND: Holarctica-type tularemia is endemic in the Northern Hemisphere. Despite recurrent epidemics tularemia is not well known in children and the pediatric cases are often misdiagnosed. METHODS: An outbreak of holarctica-type tularemia occurred in the Oulu region of Northern Finland in late summer/early August 2007. We collected prospectively data on all the cases of children diagnosed and treated for tularemia at the Department of Pediatrics, Oulu University Hospital, during the epidemic from July through September 2007. RESULTS: Fifty patients were confirmed as having tularemia. All the cases appeared in a relatively small part of the Oulu region and almost all came from an area about 40 km in diameter where the annual incidence rate was high (342/100,000). Ulceroglandular tularemia was recorded in 47 of the 50 cases and secondary skin manifestations in half of the cases. CONCLUSIONS: Tularemia caused by holarctica-type bacteria is a relatively mild infection, but symptoms are protracted in children and an epidemic consumes considerable health care resources.
Synthetic P. falciparum peptides were evaluated as tools in epidemiological investigations of malaria. Plasma IgM and IgG antibody reactivities against synthetic peptides covering sequences of glutamate-rich protein (GLURP) and acidic-basic repeat antigen (ABRA) were measured by ELISA in individuals from malaria-endemic areas of Sudan, Indonesia and The Gambia to study antibody responses to these peptides in donors living in areas of different malaria endemicity. IgG and IgM reactivities to the peptides increased with malaria endemicity, although there were no differences in reactivities to the GLURP peptide between non-exposed donors and donors living in areas of low malaria endemicity. IgG reactivities to the GLURP peptide in Sudanese adults were high one month after treatment in all adults tested, while IgG reactivities to the ABRA peptide were infrequent. IgM responses to the peptides tested were shortlived in most patients. In Gambian children with malaria, IgM reactivities but not IgG antibody reactivities against the ABRA peptide were higher in those with mild malaria than in those with severe malaria. The peptides may be useful in future epidemiological studies, especially in areas of low malaria endemicity.
Human bartonellosis in North America is mainly associated with Bartonella henselae, and the availability of laboratory diagnostic tools has significantly heightened awareness of the spectrum of human disease that is caused by this bacterium. We detail herein examples of illness in a pediatric population which serve to confirm that B. henselae-associated disease exists in British Columbia. Seroprevalence studies among asymptomatic adults and among children with symptomatic respiratory illness of other causation demonstrated that 36.8% and 18.5% of sera, respectively, had IFA-IgG titres > or = 1:256. IFA-IgG titres did not vary significantly whether B. henselae ATCC 49793 or a local wild-type B. henselae isolate were used as substrate. An assessment of IgM response was consistent with the proposal that endemic seroprevalence is a function of past rather than recent exposure. Both clinical and serological studies are concordant in providing evidence that B. henselae is endemic in British Columbia.
Lyme disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is a multisystem disorder characterized by three clinical stages: dermatologic, neurologic, and rheumatologic. The number of known Lyme disease-endemic areas in Canada is increasing as the range of the vector Ixodes scapularis expands into the eastern and central provinces. Southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, southern Manitoba, New Brunswick, and southern Quebec are now considered Lyme disease-endemic regions in Canada. The use of field surveillance to map risk and endemic regions suggests that these geographic areas are growing, in part due to the effects of climate warming. Peripheral facial nerve palsy is the most common neurologic abnormality in the second stage of Lyme borreliosis, with up to 25% of Bell palsy (idiopathic peripheral facial nerve palsy) occurring due to Lyme disease. Here we present a case of occult bilateral facial nerve palsy due to Lyme disease initially diagnosed as Bell palsy. In Lyme disease-endemic regions of Canada, patients presenting with unilateral or bilateral peripheral facial nerve palsy should be evaluated for Lyme disease with serologic testing to avoid misdiagnosis. Serologic testing should not delay initiation of appropriate treatment for presumed Bell palsy.