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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Zooanosis

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    Posted: November 01 2019 at 4:47pm
Bats

Bat Warning: Evidence of Cross-Species Virus Transmission From Bats to Humans
TOPICS:BatsDuke-NUS Medical SchoolInfectious DiseasesVirologyVirus

By Duke-NUS Medical School November 1, 2019

Bat in Cave

Infectious diseases spilling over from wildlife are not new — as of 2008, approximately 70 percent of all known emerging diseases are thought to have originated from wild animals. In the last 50 years, several viruses, such as Ebola, Marburg, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Hendra, swine flu, and Nipah have appeared in areas with close human-animal contact. Tropical areas where hunted wildlife often supplements the locals’ meager diets — such as in Africa, South and Southeast Asia — are hotspots for pathogen spillovers. During such spillovers, viruses from hunted wild animals or ‘bush meat’ infect humans and can lead to large scale outbreaks.

In Nagaland, bat-hunting is practiced by the Bomrr, who are a clan of the Longpfurii Yimchungii sub-tribe. According to their narratives, the Bomrrs have held a bat-harvesting festival in mid-October every year for at least seven generations.

“During the harvesting, which usually lasts for two to three days, the Bomrr smoke out entire caves in which the bats roost, and the hunters are often scratched and bitten by bats trying to escape the smoky cave, exposing them to viruses shed by the bats,” says Pilot Dovih, the study’s lead author.

In this study, two species of bats, as well as humans engaged in hunting these bats, were found to have been exposed to viruses in the family Filoviridae, which includes Ebola and Marburg viruses. Although antibodies against two and three distinct filoviruses were found in the human and bat blood samples, respectively, no viral genetic material was detected in the samples. The pattern of reactivity of anti-filovirus antibodies carried by the humans were similar to those found in one bat species (Eonycteris spelaea), which makes these bats the most probable source of the viral spillover event.

“Biodiversity, high human density, and changes in land use due to human activities make India a hotspot for emerging infectious diseases. That said, how do we scientifically study how spillovers happen?” asks NCBS professor Uma Ramakrishnan, who is Dovih’s mentor, and co-author of the study. “Our results show that spillover events do not always result in outbreaks,” she adds.

“Bats are known to be natural reservoirs for several severe viral diseases, such as rabies, Marburg, and Nipah. However, these animals are an essential part of our ecosystem because they are major pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal agents,” says Dr. Ian Mendenhall, Principal Research Scientist from Duke-NUS’ Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme, who is the senior author of the study. Dr. Mendenhall, who has studied animal reservoirs of infectious disease for the past 20 years, further adds, “We want to make sure that our work does not result in demonization of bats and emphasizes protecting their natural habitats.”

The team now plans to carry out additional investigations in another site in India where a similar harvesting event happens every year. Since such surveillance is expensive and time-consuming, the researchers are trying to develop more effective field and laboratory techniques for quick detection of viral spillovers. In addition, viral sequence data are also being investigated to understand the evolutionary history of these viruses, and their potential to cause outbreaks.

The team has also expanded their sampling range to better determine the geographic distribution of the bats and their viruses. By discovering and characterizing filoviruses across Southeast and South Asia, they hope to better understand why we have not (yet) witnessed a major bat-borne filovirus outbreak in this region.

The researchers published their findings in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on October 31, 2019.

Reference: “Filovirus-reactive antibodies in humans and bats in Northeast India imply zoonotic spillover” by Pilot Dovih, Eric D. Laing, Yihui Chen, Dolyce H. W. Low, B. R. Ansil, Xinglou Yang, Zhengli Shi, Christopher C. Broder, Gavin J. D. Smith, Martin Linster, Uma Ramakrishnan and Ian H. Mendenhall, 31 October 2019, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007733

Source:   https://scitechdaily.com/bat-warning-evidence-of-cross-species-virus-transmission-from-bats-to-humans/
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PIGS

Format: Abstract


Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 17;26(1). doi: 10.3201/eid2601.191144. [Epub ahead of print]

Locally Acquired Human Infection with Swine-Origin Influenza A(H3N2) Variant Virus, Australia, 2018.

Deng YM, Wong FYK, Spirason N, Kaye M, Beazley R, Grau M, Shan S, Stevens V, Subbarao K, Sullivan S, Barr IG, Dhanasekaran V.
Abstract

In 2018, a 15-year-old female adolescent in Australia was infected with swine influenza A(H3N2) variant virus. The virus contained hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes derived from 1990s-like human seasonal viruses and internal protein genes from influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, highlighting the potential risk that swine influenza A virus poses to human health in Australia.
KEYWORDS:

Australia; H3N2v; Influenza virus; influenza; influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus; influenza surveillance; pH1N1; pandemic influenza; respiratory infections; swine influenza; viruses; zoonoses

PMID:
    31661057
DOI:
    10.3201/eid2601.191144

Free full text:   https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/1/19-1144_article
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Eye Worms From Cows in California


News : World : Americas

Parasitic worms found in woman’s eye as scientists warn of ‘emerging’ disease

Patient remembers ‘swatting the flies from her face and spitting them out of her mouth’

    21 hours ago

'Thelazia gulosa' are typically found in cattle and carried by flies ( Richard S Bradbury et al/Clinical Infectious Diseases 2019 )

A parasitic worm typically found in cattle has been discovered in a woman’s eye in what scientists have warned may be an “emerging zoonotic disease” in the US.

The 68-year-old woman is the second human to have become infected by the parasite.

She was jogging on a trail near the coast in California in March 2018 when she ran around a corner into a swarm of flies, according to a case report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The report said she remembered “swatting the flies from her face and spitting them out of her mouth”.

A month later, she experienced irritation in her right eye and when she flushed it out with tap water, she discovered a transparent roundworm around half an inch long, Live Science reported.

Air pollution linked to fertility issues in women

Inspecting her eye more closely, she found and removed a second worm.

The next day she visited an opthalmologist in Monterey, California, who removed a third parasite and sent it to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for identification.

Researchers there analysed the sample and identified it as a species of eye worm called Thelazia gulosa.

The parasitic worms are typically found in cattle and carried by certain types of flies.

Despite being prescribed an antibiotic ointment, she continued to feel irritation in both eyes.

Another doctor inspected her eyes but did not find any worms, instead diagnosing her with papillary conjunctivitis.

But she later found a fourth worm and after removing it, her conjunctivitis went away.

Only one other case of a human becoming infected by T gulosa has been reported before.

A 26-year-old woman from Oregon became infected in August 2016.

The second case within two years “suggest[s] this may represent an emerging zoonotic disease in the US,” the authors wrote, describing a disease that is transferred from animals to people.

Sourcehttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/parasitic-worms-eye-woman-california-cattle-thelazia-gulosa-a9186241.html
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You are doing great, Techno! Keep it up!!
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Thank you!
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Vaccinia Virus Reported in Colombian Farm-Workers

Emerging Zoonotic Vaccinia Virus outbreak near Cundinamarca Department Colombia

November 16th, 2019 – According to a recent investigation, there is evidence for the possible emergence of vaccinia virus (VACV) in Columbia, South America.

This is important news since VACV, an orthopoxvirus used in the smallpox vaccine has caused previous human outbreaks in countries, such as Brazil.

This US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) early release report published on November 14, 2019, found VACV infections were identified among 31 percent of farmworkers tested in Colombia in 2014.

And, seropositivity was linked to a history of clinical symptoms in 13 percent of the study participants, suggesting a substantial disease burden.

he CDC said ‘without an identifiable reservoir, control efforts are limited to hygiene and isolation strategies. And, prior smallpox vaccination is not necessarily protective against VACV during outbreaks, likely because of waning immunity.

Another potential concern is the transmission of VACV through the milk of affected cows.

VACV is a member of the genus Orthopoxvirus within the family Poxviridae. Other notable viruses in this lineage include cowpox and monkeypox.

VACV is probably an emerging zoonosis in Colombia and poses a substantial health risk for the populations affected, namely, farm workers involved in the dairy industry.

In this investigation, the descriptions of VACV-like infections in this population revealed mostly localized, painful, cutaneous lesions affecting the hands, similar to other descriptions of bovine-related VACV infections.

More than half of the patients also reported accompanying systemic symptoms such as fever and malaise, and most of those affected required medical attention and time off work, indicating substantial economic ramifications.

In addition, two-thirds of the persons who were seropositive and reported a history of symptomatic lesions were ineligible to have received a smallpox vaccine, supporting the idea that unvaccinated persons are at greater risk for symptomatic disease.

More important, nearly one-third of participants who were seropositive would have been ineligible for smallpox vaccination, signifying an ongoing risk for population transmission.

After smallpox was eliminated from the world, routine vaccination against smallpox among the general public was stopped because it was no longer needed, says the CDC.

Smallpox eradication remains one of the most important achievements in science and public health and, during that time, many different VACV strains were used as vaccines around the world.

Consequently, its escape to the field is a plausible event.

However, because of concern that variola virus might be used inappropriately, the U.S. government has stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate everyone who would need it, if a smallpox outbreak were to occur.

The CDC says you should get the smallpox vaccine if you are a lab worker who works with a virus that causes smallpox or other viruses that are similar to it.

People who are being vaccinated for the first time have a stronger reaction than those who are being revaccinated.
Smallpox vaccine news

    November 14, 2019 – A Denmark based vaccine company announced the results from the pivotal Phase 3 efficacy trial of its smallpox vaccine, Jynneos™ (MVA-BNÂŽ), which has been peer-reviewed and published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Importantly, a single dose of MVA-BN induced neutralizing antibody titers comparable with ACAM2000 on Day 14, indicating the potential for use of the vaccine to protect the general population.
    September 3, 2019 – Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded an agreement valued at approximately $2 billion dollars over 10 years for the continued supply of ACAM2000, a smallpox vaccine.

The city of Medina was the center of the VACV investigation. Medina is located in the department of Cundinamarca, a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America.

Therefore, living in Medina would be expected to be associated with seropositivity.

However, because our investigation was geographically centered on Medina, very few participants resided outside this municipality.

A more extensive investigation of other dairy-producing areas in the country might reveal differing results. VACV has been detected in unpasteurized dairy products, but the effect of such contamination on VACV transmission is unknown.

The findings of this investigation are similar to results from studies carried out in Brazil that found a positive correlation between age and seropositivity, although the effect of prior smallpox immunization could not be ruled out.

This outbreak investigation reveals that VACV is likely to become an increasingly important zoonosis in this part of the world, concluded these researchers.

Dr. Rene Styczynski is an infectious disease fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA. Her primary research interests include global infectious disease epidemiology and emerging infections.

These researchers did not disclose any relevant financial relationships.

Vaccinia virus news published by Vax-Before-Travel

Source:   https://www.vaxbeforetravel.com/emerging-zoonotic-vaccinia-virus-outbreak-near-cundinamarca-department-colombia
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