Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch

West Long Branch, United States

Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch

West Long Branch, United States
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Erickson B.R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Sealy T.K.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Flietstra T.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Morgan L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 54 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2016

During the Ebola virus outbreak of 2013-2016, the Viral Special Pathogens Branch field laboratory in Sierra Leone tested approximately 26 000 specimens between August 2014 and October 2015. Analysis of the B2M endogenous control Ct values showed its utility in monitoring specimen quality, comparing results with different specimen types, and interpretation of results. For live patients, blood is the most sensitive specimen type and oral swabs have little diagnostic utility. However, swabs are highly sensitive for diagnostic testing of corpses. © 2016 Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.


Farag N.H.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Silk B.J.,Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch | Hyytia-Trees E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background. Listeria monocytogenes causes often-fatal infections affecting mainly immunocompromised persons. Sources of hospital-acquired listeriosis outbreaks can be difficult to identify. We investigated a listeriosis outbreak spanning 7 months and involving 5 hospitals.Methods. Outbreak-related cases were identified by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and confirmed by multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA). We conducted patient interviews, medical records reviews, and hospital food source evaluations. Food and environmental specimens were collected at a hospital (hospital A) where 6 patients had been admitted before listeriosis onset; these specimens were tested by culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and PFGE. We collected and tested food and environmental samples at the implicated processing facility.Results. Ten outbreak-related patients were immunocompromised by ≥1 underlying conditions or treatments; 5 died. All patients had been admitted to or visited an acute-care hospital during their possible incubation periods. The outbreak strain of L. monocytogenes was isolated from chicken salad and its diced celery ingredient at hospital A, and in 19 of >200 swabs of multiple surfaces and in 8 of 11 diced celery products at the processing plant. PCR testing detected Listeria in only 3 of 10 environmental and food samples from which it was isolated by culturing. The facility was closed, products were recalled, and the outbreak ended.Conclusions. Contaminated diced celery caused a baffling, lengthy outbreak of hospital-acquired listeriosis. PCR testing often failed to detect the pathogen, suggesting its reliability should be further evaluated. Listeriosis risk should be considered in fresh produce selections for immunocompromised patients. © 2012 The Author.


Mody R.K.,Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch | Besser J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Hurd S.,Yale University | Nicholson C.,University of New Mexico | Mahon B.E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

For decades, culture has been the mainstay of diagnostic testing for bacterial enteric pathogens. This paradigm is changing as clinical laboratories adopt culture-independent methods, such as antigen-based tests and nucleic acid-based assays. Public health surveillance for enteric infections addresses 4 interrelated but distinct objectives: case investigation for localized disease control; assessment of disease burden and trends to prioritize and assess impact of population-based control measures; outbreak detection; and microbiologic characterization to improve understanding of pathogens, their virulence mechanisms, and epidemiology. We summarize the challenges and opportunities that culture-independent tests present and suggest strategies, such as validation studies and development of culture-independent tests compatible with subtyping, that could be adopted to ensure that surveillance remains robust. Many of these approaches will require time and resources to implement, but they will be necessary to maintain a strong surveillance system. Public health practitioners must clearly explain the value of surveillance, especially how outbreak detection benefits the public, and collaborate with all stakeholders to develop solutions. © 2012 The Author.


Fitzgerald C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Patrick M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Gonzalez A.,Sacramento County Public Health Laboratory | Akin J.,Sacramento County Public Health Laboratory | And 25 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2016

The use of culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs), such as stool antigen tests, as standalone tests for the detection of Campylobacter in stool is increasing. We conducted a prospective, multicenter study to evaluate the performance of stool antigen CIDTs compared to culture and PCR for Campylobacter detection. Between July and October 2010, we tested 2,767 stool specimens from patients with gastrointestinal illness with the following methods: four types of Campylobacter selective media, four commercial stool antigen assays, and a commercial PCR assay. Illnesses from which specimens were positive by one or more culture media or at least one CIDT and PCR were designated "cases." A total of 95 specimens (3.4%) met the case definition. The stool antigen CIDTs ranged from 79.6% to 87.6% in sensitivity, 95.9 to 99.5% in specificity, and 41.3 to 84.3% in positive predictive value. Culture alone detected 80/89 (89.9% sensitivity) Campylobacter jejuni/Campylobacter coli-positive cases. Of the 209 noncases that were positive by at least one CIDT, only one (0.48%) was positive by all four stool antigen tests, and 73% were positive by just one stool antigen test. The questionable relevance of unconfirmed positive stool antigen CIDT results was supported by the finding that noncases were less likely than cases to have gastrointestinal symptoms. Thus, while the tests were convenient to use, the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of Campylobacter stool antigen tests were highly variable. Given the relatively low incidence of Campylobacter disease and the generally poor diagnostic test characteristics, this study calls into question the use of commercially available stool antigen CIDTs as standalone tests for direct detection of Campylobacter in stool. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Laufer A.S.,Scientific-Atlanta | Grass J.,Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch | Holt K.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Whichard J.M.,Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch | And 2 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2014

Non-typhoidal Salmonella is estimated to be the most common bacterial cause of foodborne illness in the United States, causing an estimated one million domestically acquired foodborne illnesses annually. Recent, large outbreaks have highlighted the importance of ground beef as an important source of multidrug-resistant Salmonella. We analysed the epidemiology of salmonellosis outbreaks that were attributed to beef in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1973 to 2011. During 1973-2011, of the 1965 outbreaks of Salmonella where a food vehicle was implicated, 96 were attributed to beef, accounting for 3684 illnesses. We observed a shift in the type of beef implicated in salmonellosis outbreaks, from roast to ground beef. Delicatessen-style roast beef cooked in commercial processing establishments was the predominant type during the 1970s and early 1980s; regulations on cooking and processing essentially eliminated this problem by 1987. Ground beef emerged as an important vehicle in the 2000s; it was implicated in 17 (45%) of the 38 beef-attributed outbreaks reported during 2002-2011. Although this emergence was likely due in part to increased participation in CDC's PulseNet, which was established in 1996, and proactive decisions by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, stronger measures are needed to decrease contamination of ground beef with Salmonella. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.

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