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Taylor M.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | McIntyre L.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | Ritson M.,Vancouver Coastal Health Authority | Stone J.,Fraser Health Authority | And 21 more authors.
Marine Drugs | Year: 2013

In 2011, a Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) outbreak occurred in British Columbia (BC), Canada that was associated with cooked mussel consumption. This is the first reported DSP outbreak in BC. Investigation of ill individuals, traceback of product and laboratory testing for toxins were used in this investigation. Sixty-two illnesses were reported. Public health and food safety investigation identified a common food source and harvest area. Public health and regulatory agencies took actions to recall product and notify the public. Shellfish monitoring program changes were implemented after the outbreak. Improved response and understanding of toxin production will improve management of future DSP outbreaks. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI.


Morshed M.G.,Bc Public Health Microbiology And Reference Laboratory | Morshed M.G.,University of British Columbia | Lee M.-K.,Bc Public Health Microbiology And Reference Laboratory | Man S.,Bc Public Health Microbiology And Reference Laboratory | And 10 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2015

To determine the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in British Columbian ticks, fieldwork was conducted over a 2-year period. In all, 893 ticks (Ixodes pacificus, I. angustus, I. soricis, Ixodes spp., and Dermacentor andersoni) of different life stages were retrieved from 483 small rodents (Peromyscus maniculatus, Perognathus parvus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis). B. burgdorferi DNA was detected in 5 out of 359 tick pools, and 41 out of 483 mice were serologically confirmed to have antibodies against B. burgdorferi. These results were consistent with previous studies, data from passive surveillance in British Columbia, and data from neighboring states in the Pacific Northwest, suggesting a continually low prevalence of B. burgdorferi in British Columbia ticks. Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Tsang R.S.W.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Hoang L.,BC Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory | Tyrrell G.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health | Horsman G.,Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Medical Microbiology | Year: 2015

We previously reported a shift in the electrophoretic type (ET) of invasive MenC in Canada from predominantly ET-15 to ET-37 in the post-MenC conjugate vaccine period. This study sought to confirm this trend by examining all culture-confirmed invasive MenC case isolates in Canada in the period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013. Of the 50 MenC isolates, 18 belonged to ET- 15, 28 belonged to ET-37 (but not ET-15), and four belonged to other clonal types. Analysis of the serotype and serosubtype antigens, porA and fetA gene sequences provided data to show that invasive MenC belonging to ET-15 and ET-37 were two very different subpopulations within the ST-11 clonal complex. Sequence analysis of the fHbp genes suggested that 12 different types of factor H-binding protein were found among the ET-15 isolates while 86% of ET-37 isolates were found to have fHbp genes predicted to encode peptide 22. The nadA gene in 12 MenC isolates was disrupted due to IS1301 insertion and 11 of these 12 isolates belonged to ET-15. Ten per cent of the invasive MenC were found to have a frame-shift mutation in their fHbp genes that predicted no fHbp produced. Significant diversity and frame-shift mutations of fHbp genes were found in invasive MenC strains in Canada. © 2015 Copyright belongs to the Public Health Agency of Canada.


PubMed | Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, Institute National Of Sante Publique Du Quebec, Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario and 7 more.
Type: | Journal: The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy | Year: 2017

Previously we studied the antibiotic susceptibility of invasive Haemophilus influenzae collected in Canada from 1990 to 2006 and characterized isolates by serotype, MLST and ftsI gene sequencing for significant PBP3 mutations.To provide an update based on isolates collected from 2007 to 2014.A total of 882 case isolates were characterized by serotype using slide agglutination and PCR. MLST was carried out to determine ST. Isolates were tested for -lactamase production, presence of significant PBP3 mutations and antibiotic susceptibility by disc diffusion against 14 antibiotics. MIC values of three antibiotics were determined for 316 isolates using microbroth dilution.Non-typeable H. influenzae accounted for 54.6% of the isolates and 45.4% were serotypeable, predominantly type a (23.1%), type b (8.3%) and type f (10.8%). The overall rate of ampicillin resistance due to -lactamase production was 16.4% and increased from 13.5% in 2007-10 to 19% in 2011-14. Significant PBP3 mutations were identified in 129 isolates (14.6%) with 23 (2.6%) also producing -lactamase. MLST identified related STs (ST-136, ST-14 and ST-367) associated exclusively with genetically -lactamase-negative, ampicillin-resistant isolates and confirmed previously reported associations between significant PBP3 mutations and ST.A significant increase in -lactamase-producing isolates was observed from 2007 to 2014; the rate of significant PBP3 mutations has increased since previously reported and 52.5% of non-typeable H. influenzae now show resistance markers. Resistance to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was common and no resistance to fluoroquinolones or third-generation cephalosporins was found.


Benusic M.A.,University of Toronto | Hoang L.M.N.,BC Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory | Hoang L.M.N.,University of British Columbia | Press N.M.,University of British Columbia | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology | Year: 2015

Bacillus cereus is a ubiquitous spore-forming organism that is infrequently implicated in extraintestinal infections. The authors report three cases of B cereus bacteremia among injection drug users presenting within one month to an urban tertiary care hospital. Treatment with intravenous vancomycin was successful in all three cases. While temporal association suggested an outbreak, molecular studies of patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis did not suggest a common source. A review of the association of B cereus infections with heroin use and treatment of this pathogen is provided.


Dooley D.M.,University of British Columbia | Petkau A.J.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Van Domselaar G.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Hsiao W.W.L.,University of British Columbia | Hsiao W.W.L.,BC Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory
Bioinformatics | Year: 2016

Motivation: There are various reasons for rerunning bioinformatics tools and pipelines on sequencing data, including reproducing a past result, validation of a new tool or workflow using a known dataset, or tracking the impact of database changes. For identical results to be achieved, regularly updated reference sequence databases must be versioned and archived. Database administrators have tried to fill the requirements by supplying users with one-off versions of databases, but these are time consuming to set up and are inconsistent across resources. Disk storage and data backup performance has also discouraged maintaining multiple versions of databases since databases such as NCBI nr can consume 50 Gb or more disk space per version, with growth rates that parallel Moore's law. Results: Our end-to-end solution combines our own Kipper software package-a simple key-value large file versioning system-with BioMAJ (software for downloading sequence databases), and Galaxy (a web-based bioinformatics data processing platform). Available versions of databases can be recalled and used by command-line and Galaxy users. The Kipper data store format makes publishing curated FASTA databases convenient since in most cases it can store a range of versions into a file marginally larger than the size of the latest version. © 2015 The Author.


Ling D.I.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | Ling D.I.,University of British Columbia | Ling D.I.,Center for Disease Control | Janjua N.Z.,British Columbia Center for Disease Control | And 18 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2015

Introduction We described trends for sexually transmitted infections (STI) among gay/bisexual men in British Columbia, Canada, using a sentinel site surveillance approach. Methods Using data from an electronic charting system, we included gay/bisexual men who visited high-volume STI clinics from 2000 to 2013. Diagnosis rates and incidence density were calculated for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis C, genital herpes, and genital warts. Incidence density was estimated among repeat testers who converted from a negative to positive test result. We also conducted Poisson regression analysis to determine factors that were associated with increased incidence rates. Results A total of 47,170 visits were identified for gay/bisexual men during our time frame. The median age was 34 years (interquartile range, 27-43 years), and most clients were seen in Vancouver. Although trends for most STI were stable, diagnoses of gonorrhea and syphilis have risen steadily in recent years. Coinfection with HIV was associated with higher gonorrhea and syphilis rates in the Poisson regression model. In addition, visiting a Vancouver clinic and younger age were associated with increased incidence. Conclusions Our clinic-based sentinel surveillance system found increasing trends for gonorrhea and syphilis among gay/bisexual men but not for other STI in British Columbia. Further investigation is required to explore the syndemic effects of syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV. This new platform will be a valuable tool for ongoing monitoring of STI and targeting prevention efforts. © 2015 by the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.


Gilbert M.,Center for Disease Control | Gilbert M.,University of British Columbia | Hottes T.S.,Center for Disease Control | Lester R.,Center for Disease Control | And 8 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVES: Canadian surveys of men who have sex with men (MSM) and people using injection drugs (IDU) demonstrate that most have tested for HIV at least once, but that half or fewer have done so in the previous year. To better inform targeted HIV testing guidelines for these populations, we derived estimates of inter-test interval (ITI) for persons newly diagnosed with HIV in British Columbia (BC) between 2006 and 2011, and assessed variables associated with longer ITI among MSM and IDU. METHODS: Provincial HIV case report and testing data were linked by deterministic and probabilistic matching (based on unique personal health number, name, and date of birth). ITI was defined as time from last recorded negative to first positive HIV result; those with ITI ≤30 days were excluded. RESULTS: Of 2,004 eligible individuals, 1,116 (55.7%) had a recorded negative HIV test result in the previous ten years. Overall median ITI was 20 months with a skewed distribution (inter-quartile range 8-46); median ITI was 15 months for MSM and 21 months for IDU with 41.2% and 33.1% testing in the past year, respectively. Longer ITI was associated with older age for both groups, and among MSM with residence outside Vancouver and not known to have an HIV-positive partner. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight potential missed opportunities for earlier detection of HIV and prevention of secondary transmission among newly diagnosed MSM and IDU, and provide evidence to inform recommendations for HIV test frequency and testing strategies for these populations in BC. © Canadian Public Health Association, 2014. All rights reserved.


Henrich N.,Providence Health Care Research Institute | Holmes B.,Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research | Prystajecky N.,BC Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory | Prystajecky N.,University of British Columbia
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

In association with the development of new microbial tests for source water quality (SWQ), focus groups with members of the public were conducted to gain insight into their perceptions of SWQ, behaviours and contaminants they think pose the greatest threat to its quality, and what/how they want to know about SWQ. Discussions revealed a low concern about SWQ in general, and in particular about microbial contamination. Participants identified behaviours that threaten SWQ, barriers to changing behaviour and suggestions for inducing change. A strong desire was expressed for water quality information to be interpreted and communicated in terms of how SWQ may impact human health and how their actions should be altered in response to test results. The information can be used to inform communication strategies and possibly impact policies associated with water quality testing and implementation of new tests. More broadly, awareness of the public’s understanding and beliefs about source water can be used in working with the public to adopt water-friendly behaviours, influence the content and methods of communicating with the public about water issues and water quality, and could contribute to the direction of future research and investment into water technologies to align with the public's priorities. © 2015 Henrich et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | BC Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory, Providence Health Care Research Institute and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

In association with the development of new microbial tests for source water quality (SWQ), focus groups with members of the public were conducted to gain insight into their perceptions of SWQ, behaviours and contaminants they think pose the greatest threat to its quality, and what/how they want to know about SWQ. Discussions revealed a low concern about SWQ in general, and in particular about microbial contamination. Participants identified behaviours that threaten SWQ, barriers to changing behaviour and suggestions for inducing change. A strong desire was expressed for water quality information to be interpreted and communicated in terms of how SWQ may impact human health and how their actions should be altered in response to test results. The information can be used to inform communication strategies and possibly impact policies associated with water quality testing and implementation of new tests. More broadly, awareness of the publics understanding and beliefs about source water can be used in working with the public to adopt water-friendly behaviours, influence the content and methods of communicating with the public about water issues and water quality, and could contribute to the direction of future research and investment into water technologies to align with the publics priorities.

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