pestis fulminans [keywords]
- [Correlative factors related to the density of Meriones unguiculatus in the Meriones unguiculatus plague foci of Hebei province, 2001-2013]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi 2016 Aug 10; 37(8):1108-11.
To explore the yearly, monthly and habitat-related distribution and their relations with Meriones unguiculatus density in the Hebei Meriones unguiculatus plague foci, from 2001 to 2013.Data related to Meriones unguiculatus was gathered through the monitoring programs set up at the national and provincial Meriones unguiculatus plague foci in Hebei province, from 2001 to 2013. According to the yearly density of Meriones unguiculatus, criteria set for the three groups under study, were as follows:'high-risk group'-when the rodent density was≥1.00 under rodents/hm(2),'warning group'-when the rodents/hm(2)>rodent density> 0.20,'standard group'-when rodents/hm(2) rodent density≤0.20 rodents/hm(2). Differences of habitats and monthly distribution among the three groups were compared, under the Kruskal-Wallis H rank sum test while their relations were under the multiple correspondence analysis.The Meriones unguiculatus densities were higher than 1.00 rodents/hm(2), far above the set national standards, in the monitoring area, between 2001 and 2005. From 2005, though the rodent densities began to decrease, however, figures from 2008 to 2013 were still among 0.20 to 1.00 rodents/hm(2). The distribution of habitats in the three groups showed that the Meriones unguiculatus densities were all different in habitats and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). The highest median densities were all in the arable land, with maximum value of high-risk group appeared the highest (20.50 rodents/hm(2)) in the wasteland. Monthly distribution showed that the Meriones unguiculatus densities were different and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05) in the high-risk and standard groups but not statistically significant in the warning group. Data from the multiple correspondence analysis showed that there was a strong aggregation among wasteland, in April and June, while the warning group was associated with weather in July and the arable land.When the density became higher than 1.00 rodents/hm(2), the risk on animal plague increased in Hebei Meriones unguiculatus plague foci. Based on the distribution of Meriones unguiculatus, programs should be set to monitor the rodent in arable land and wasteland, in April and June, to reduce the prevalence of animals plague.
- How old are bacterial pathogens? [Journal Article, Review]
- Proc Biol Sci 2016 Aug 17; 283(1836)
Only few molecular studies have addressed the age of bacterial pathogens that infected humans before the beginnings of medical bacteriology, but these have provided dramatic insights. The global genetic diversity of Helicobacter pylori, which infects human stomachs, parallels that of its human host. The time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of these bacteria approximates that of anatomically modern humans, i.e. at least 100 000 years, after calibrating the evolutionary divergence within H. pylori against major ancient human migrations. Similarly, genomic reconstructions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of tuberculosis, from ancient skeletons in South America and mummies in Hungary support estimates of less than 6000 years for the tMRCA of M. tuberculosis Finally, modern global patterns of genetic diversity and ancient DNA studies indicate that during the last 5000 years plague caused by Yersinia pestis has spread globally on multiple occasions from China and Central Asia. Such tMRCA estimates provide only lower bounds on the ages of bacterial pathogens, and additional studies are needed for realistic upper bounds on how long humans and animals have suffered from bacterial diseases.
- Biological Warfare in the 17th Century. [Letter]
- Emerg Infect Dis 2016 Sep; 22(9):1663-4.
- Evaluation of whole cell fixation methods for the analysis of nanoscale surface features of Yersinia pestis KIM. [Journal Article]
- J Microsc 2016 Sep; 263(3):260-7.
Manipulation of viable Yersinia pestis (etiologic agent of plague) in the laboratory usually necessitates elevated biosafety and biocontainment procedures, even with avirulent or vaccine strains. To facilitate downstream biochemical or physical analyses in a Biosafety Level 1 laboratory environment, effective inactivation without affecting its intrinsic properties is critical. Here, we report on the morphological and biochemical changes to Y. pestis surfaces following four different fixation methods that render the cells nonviable. The results, obtained at the single cell level, demonstrate that methanol inactivation is best able to preserve bacterial morphology and bioactivity, enabling subsequent analysis. This nanoscale evaluation of the effects of inactivation on cell morphology and surface bioactivity may provide a crucial preparatory approach to study virulent pathogens in the lab setting using high-resolution microscopic techniques such as atomic force microscopy.
- Probing the spatial cluster of Meriones unguiculatus using the nest flea index based on GIS technology. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Acta Trop 2016 Aug 12.:157-166.
The nest flea index of Meriones unguiculatus is a critical indicator for the prevention and control of plague, which can be used not only to detect the spatial and temporal distributions of Meriones unguiculatus, but also to reveal its cluster rule. This study used global spatial autocorrelation and spatial hot spot detection methods to describe the relationship between different years and the autocorrelation coefficient of nest flea indexes; it also used a spatial detection method and GIS technology to detect the spatial gathered hot spot of Meriones unguiculatus in the epidemic areas. The results of this study showed that (1) there were statistically significant spatial autocorrelations in the nest flea indexes in 2006, 2012, 2013 and 2014. (2) Most of the distribution patterns of Meriones unguiculatus were statistically significant clusters of high values. (3) There were some typical hot spot regions of plague distributed along the Inner Mongolia plateau, north of China. (4) The hot spot regions of plague were gradually stabilized after increasing and decreasing repeatedly. Generally speaking, the number of hot spot regions showed an accelerated increase from 2005 to 2007, decreased slowly from 2007 to 2008, rapidly increased again after decreasing slowly from 2008 to 2010, showed an accelerated decrease from 2010 to 2011, and ultimately were stabilized after rapidly increasing again from 2011 to 2014. (5) The migration period of the hot spot regions was 2-3 years. The epidemic area of plague moved from southwest to east during 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010, from east to southwest during 2007 and 2008, from east to west during 2010 and 2011, and from Midwest to east during 2011 and 2014. (6) Effective factors, such as temperature, rainfall, DEM, host density, and NDVI, can affect the spatial cluster of Meriones unguiculatus. The results of this study have important implications for exploring the temporal and spatial distribution law and distribution of the hot spot regions of plague, which can reduce the risk of plague, help support the decision making process for the control and prevention of plague, and form a valuable application for plague research.
- Development of a TaqMan-based Real-Time PCR Assay for the Detection of Novel GPV. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Virol Methods 2016 Aug 11.
The newly emerged disease, duck beak atrophy and dwarfism syndrome (BADS), is caused by novel goose parovirus (N-GPV). Although N-GPV infection has severe consequences, few methods for detecting this virus have been developed. Therefore, the availability of rapid and reliable molecular diagnostic methods would aid future studies of this novel virus. Clinical specimens from 138 suspected cases of N-GPV infection and 120 cloacal swabs from breeding ducks were used in this study. The targeted sequence of N-GPV cloned into the pMD18-T vector was used to generate the N-GPV DNA standard curve. The specificity of the assay was validated using duck plague virus, GPV, duck hepatitis virus, avian influenza virus, duck reovirus, tembusu virus, and fowl adenovirus. The lowest limit of detection was 8.8×10(1)copies/μL with a good linear standard curve (Y=-3.3682X+37.220, R(2)=0.9953) over a wide range of input DNA, of which the concentration was between 8.8×10(1) to 8.8×10(8)copies/μL. The results show that the real-time PCR assay is a highly sensitive, specific, reproducible, and versatile method for quantitatively detecting N-GPV DNA, and thus can be used to detect this virus, thereby facilitating epidemiological investigations of animals with BADS.
- Plagued by doubt and viral misinformation: the need for evidence-based use of historical disease images. [REVIEW, JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Lancet Infect Dis 2016 Aug 10.
The digitisation of historical disease images and their widespread availability on the internet have been a boon to education and research, but with unintended consequences, including the misrepresentation of infectious diseases in the past and the viral spread of misinformation. Many medieval images containing scenes of infectious disease come from non-medical sources and are not meant to convey any medical meaning. Erroneous modern captions have led to the publication of several historical images labelled as depictions of the plague, although artistic and textual evidence shows that they are not. Mislabelled images lose their intended historical narrative, and their use creates a distorted view of the past and of the disease in question. Scholars should give the same careful consideration to an image's evidentiary context that they would insist on giving to all other forms of evidence.
- Structure-guided discovery of thiazolidine-2,4-dione derivatives as a novel class of Leishmania major pteridine reductase 1 inhibitors. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Eur J Med Chem 2016 Jul 25.:639-648.
Leishmania major, as other protozoan parasites, plague human kind since pre-historic times but it remains a worldwide ailment for which the therapeutic arsenal remains scarce. Although L. major is pteridine- and purine-auxotroph, well-established folate biosynthesis inhibitors, such as methotrexate, have poor effect over the parasite survival. The lack of efficiency is related to an alternative biochemical pathway in which pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) plays a major role. For this reason, this enzyme has been considered a promising target for anti-leishmanial drug development and several inhibitors that share the substrate scaffold have been reported. In order to design a novel class of PTR1 inhibitors, we employed the thiazolidinone ring as a bioisosteric replacement for pteridine/purine ring. Among seven novel thiazolidine-2,4-dione derivatives reported herein, 2d was identified as the most promising lead by thermal shift assays (ΔTm = 11 °C, p = 0,01). Kinetic assays reveal that 2d has IC50 = 44.67 ± 1.74 μM and shows a noncompetitive behavior. This information guided docking studies and molecular dynamics simulations (50 000 ps) that supports 2d putative binding profile (H-bonding to Ser-111 and Leu-66) and shall be useful to design more potent inhibitors.
- Xenopsylla brasiliensis Fleas in Plague Focus Areas, Madagascar. [LETTER]
- Emerg Infect Dis 2016 Dec 15; 22(12)
- Outbreak of Plague in a High Malaria Endemic Region - Nyimba District, Zambia, March-May 2015. [Journal Article]
- MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016; 65(31):807-11.
Outbreaks of plague have been recognized in Zambia since 1917 (1). On April 10, 2015, Zambia's Ministry of Health was notified by the Eastern Provincial Medical Office of possible bubonic plague cases in Nyimba District. Eleven patients with acute fever and cervical lymphadenopathy had been evaluated at two rural health centers during March 28-April 9, 2015; three patients died. To confirm the outbreak and develop control measures, the Zambia Ministry of Health's Field Epidemiology Training Program (ZFETP) conducted epidemiologic and laboratory investigations in partnership with the University of Zambia's schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the provincial and district medical offices. Twenty-one patients with clinically compatible plague were identified, with symptom onset during March 26-May 5, 2015. The median age was 8 years, and all patients were from the same village. Blood specimens or lymph node aspirates from six (29%) patients tested positive for Yersinia pestis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There is an urgent need to improve early identification and treatment of plague cases. PCR is a potential complementary tool for identifying plague, especially in areas with limited microbiologic capacity. Twelve (57%) patients, including all six with PCR-positive plague and all three who died, also tested positive for malaria by rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Plague patients coinfected with malaria might be misdiagnosed as solely having malaria, and appropriate antibacterial treatment to combat plague might not be given, increasing risk for mortality. Because patients with malaria might be coinfected with other pathogens, broad spectrum antibiotic treatment to cover other pathogens is recommended for all children with severe malaria, until a bacterial infection is excluded.