Fremont, CA, United States
Fremont, CA, United States

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Fittipaldi N.,Methodist Hospital | Fittipaldi N.,Public Health Ontario | Tyrrell G.J.,University of Alberta | Low D.E.,University of Toronto | And 4 more authors.
Emerging Microbes and Infections | Year: 2013

Analysis of microbial epidemics has been revolutionized by whole-genome sequencing. We recently sequenced the genomes of 601 type emm59 Group A Streptococcus (GAS) organisms responsible foranongoing epidemic of invasive infections in Canada and some of the United States. The epidemic has been caused by the emergence of a genetically distinct, hypervirulent clone that has genetically diversified. The ease of obtaining genomic data contrasts with the relatively difficult task of translating them into insightful epidemiological information. Here, we sequenced the genomes of 90 additional invasive Canadian emm59 GAS organisms, including 80 isolated recently in 2010-2011. We used an improved bioinformatics pipeline designed to rapidly process and analyze whole-genome data and integrate strain metadata. We discovered that emm59 GAS organisms are undergoing continued multiclonal evolutionary expansion. Previously identified geographic patterns of strain dissemination are being diluted as mixing of subclones over time and space occurs. Our integrated data analysis strategy permits prompt and accurate mapping of the dissemination of bacterial organisms in an epidemic wave, permitting rapid generation of hypotheses that inform public health and virulence studies. © 2013 SSCC. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Hospital Dr Francisco Gonzalvo, Hospital el Buen Samaritano, cBio Inc. and University of Texas Medical Branch
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS neglected tropical diseases | Year: 2016

Since emerging in Saint Martin in 2013, chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an alphavirus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has infected approximately two million individuals in the Americas, with over 500,000 reported cases in the Dominican Republic (DR). CHIKV-infected patients typically present with a febrile syndrome including polyarthritis/polyarthralgia, and a macropapular rash, similar to those infected with dengue and Zika viruses, and malaria. Nevertheless, many Dominican cases are unconfirmed due to the unavailability and high cost of laboratory testing and the absence of specific treatment for CHIKV infection. To obtain a more accurate representation of chikungunya fever (CHIKF) clinical signs and symptoms, and confirm the viral lineage responsible for the DR CHIKV outbreak, we tested 194 serum samples for CHIKV RNA and IgM antibodies from patients seen in a hospital in La Romana, DR using quantitative RT-PCR and IgM capture ELISA, and performed retrospective chart reviews. RNA and antibodies were detected in 49% and 24.7% of participants, respectively. Sequencing revealed that the CHIKV strain responsible for the La Romana outbreak belonged to the Asian/American lineage and grouped phylogenetically with recent Mexican and Trinidadian isolates. Our study shows that, while CHIKV-infected individuals were infrequently diagnosed with CHIKF, uninfected patients were never falsely diagnosed with CHIKF. Participants testing positive for CHIKV RNA were more likely to present with arthralgia, although it was reported in just 20.0% of CHIKF+ individuals. High percentages of respiratory (19.6%) signs and symptoms, especially among children, were noted, though it was not possible to determine whether individuals infected with CHIKV were co-infected with other pathogens. These results suggest that CHIKV may have been underdiagnosed during this outbreak, and that CHIKF should be included in differential diagnoses of diverse undifferentiated febrile syndromes in the Americas.

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