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Ymittos Athens, Greece

Hadjichristodoulou C.,University of Thessaly | Pournaras S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Mavrouli M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Marka A.,University of Thessaly | And 19 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) disease were recorded for three consecutive years in Greece following the year 2010 outbreak. A cross-sectional serologic survey was conducted to estimate the WNV seroprevalence and assess the ratio of infection to neuroinvasive disease. A stratified left-over sampling methodology was used including age and residence strata. A total of 3,962 serum samples was collected and tested for WNV Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). All positive samples were further tested by Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT) and WNV Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies. WNV IgG antibodies were detected in 82 samples and 61 were also positive in PRNT representing a weighted seroprevalence of 2.1% (95% C.I.: 1.7-2.6) and 1.5% (95% C.I.: 1.2-2.0), respectively. Multivariable analysis showed that seroprevalence was associated with age and residence. The overall ratio of neuroinvasive disease to infected persons was estimated at 1:376 (95% C.I.: 1:421-1:338), while the elderly people had the highest ratio. This nationwide study provided valuable data regarding the epidemiology of WNV in Greece based on the fact that elderly people have higher risk of being both infected and having severe disease. © 2015 Hadjichristodoulou 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.

Georgiadou S.P.,University of Thessaly | Stefos A.,University of Thessaly | Spanakos G.,Entomology and Tropical Diseases | Skrimpas S.,University of Thessaly | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Objectives: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is re-emerging in endemic areas. The epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and treatment outcome characteristics in a large cohort of VL patients is described herein. Methods: The cases of 67 VL patients (57% male, mean age 56 years) treated in two Greek hospitals over the last 7 years were identified and evaluated retrospectively. Results: Forty-six percent of patients reported contact with animals. Seventeen patients (25%) were immunocompromised, and 22% were co-infected with another pathogen. Sixty-four percent of patients had fever, 57% had weakness, 37% had sweats, 21% had weight loss, and 13% had a dry cough, while 6% developed haemophagocytic syndrome. The median duration of symptoms was 28 days. Fifty-eight percent of patients had splenomegaly, 49% had hepatomegaly, and 36% had lymphadenopathy. The diagnosis was established by positive PCR in peripheral blood (73%) and/or bone marrow specimens (34%). Sixty-one patients (91%) received liposomal amphotericin (L-AMB). Six patients (10%) did not respond or relapsed but were eventually cured after a second cycle of L-AMB. During a 6-month follow-up, the overall mortality was 9%, although none of these deaths was attributed to VL. Conclusions: VL is still a common disease in endemic areas, affecting immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. Its diagnosis is challenging, and molecular techniques are valuable and helpful tools to achieve this. Treatment with L-AMB is safe and very effective. © 2015 The Authors.

Spanakos G.,Entomology and Tropical Diseases | Koutis C.,Technological Educational Institute of Athens
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2010

Canine leishmaniosis (CL) is a common systemic parasitic disease that is endemic in many Mediterranean countries including Greece. The immune reaction to the parasite is critical to the outcome of the infection and the response to treatment. Some studies have shown a reduction of circulating CD4+ T cells and of the CD4+/CD8+ ratio in dogs with CL and these changes normalised following treatment with meglumine antimoniate or amphotericin B. Allopurinol is used as a monotherapy for the chronic treatment of CL. The aim of the present study was to determine the circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio in 19 dogs diagnosed with CL before and after prolonged allopurinol monotherapy (18. months). A significant decrease in circulating CD4+ T cells was observed in dogs with CL before treatment. Prolonged allopurinol monotherapy improved the number of circulating CD4+ T cells, but did not restore their number to within the normal range. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

Spanakos G.,Hellenic Center for Diseases Control and Prevention | Alifrangis M.,Copenhagen University | Schousboe M.L.,Copenhagen University | Patsoula E.,Entomology and Tropical Diseases | And 7 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2013

Background: Plasmodium vivax malaria was common in Greece until the 1950s with epidemics involving thousands of cases every year. Greece was declared free of malaria by the World Health Organization in 1974. From 1974 to 2010, an average of 39 cases per year were reported, which were mainly imported. However, in 2009 and 2010 six and one autochthonous cases were reported culminating with a total of 40 autochthonous cases reported in 2011, of which 34 originated from a single region: Laconia of Southern Peloponnese. In this study the genotypic complexity of the P. vivax infections from the outbreak in Greece during 2011 is described, to elucidate the possible origin and spread of the disease. Methods. Three polymorphic markers of P. vivax were used; Pvmsp-3 and the microsatellites m1501 and m3502 on P. vivax isolates sampled from individuals diagnosed in Greece. Thirty-nine isolates were available for this study (20 autochthonous and 19 imported), mostly from Evrotas municipality in Laconia region, in southern Greece, (n = 29), with the remaining representing sporadic cases originating from other areas of Greece. Results: Genotyping the Evrotas samples revealed seven different haplotypes where the majority of the P. vivax infections expressed two particular Pvmsp-3-m1501-m3502 haplotypes, A10-128-151 (n = 14) and A10-121-142 (n = 7). These haplotypes appeared throughout the period in autochthonous and imported cases, indicating continuous transmission. In contrast, the P. vivax autochthonous cases from other parts of Greece were largely comprised of unique haplotypes, indicating limited transmission in these other areas. Conclusions: The results indicate that several P. vivax strains were imported into various areas of Greece in 2011, thereby increasing the risk of re-introduction of malaria. In the region of Evrotas ongoing transmission occurred exemplifying that further control measures are urgently needed in this region of southern Europe. In circumstances where medical or travel history is scarce, methods of molecular epidemiology may prove highly useful for the correct classification of the cases. © 2013 Spanakos et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Piperaki E.-T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Spanakos G.,Entomology and Tropical Diseases | Spanakos G.,Hellenic Center for Infectious Diseases Control | Patsantara G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 3 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Probes | Year: 2011

Human infection with the parasitic nematode Enterobius vermicularis occurs worldwide, particularly in children. Although its prevalence may exceed 35% in some parts of the world, molecular studies of E. vermicularis in humans are limited. The aim of the present study was to investigate the genetic variation within E. vermicularis in a human population. For this purpose, 77 adhesive tape samples taken from Greek children infested with E. vermicularis were tested. New primers were designed to amplify a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of E. vermicularis from adhesive tape samples. Thirty-six amplicons were sequenced and eleven different haplotypes were identified. All sequences clustered within the type previously characterized (type B), only reported to date from captive chimpanzees. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of E. vermicularis genotypes from a human population. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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