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Reusken C.B.E.M.,National Health Research Institute | Haagmans B.L.,Erasmus Medical Center | Muller M.A.,University of Bonn | Gutierrez C.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | And 25 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: A new betacoronavirus-Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-has been identified in patients with severe acute respiratory infection. Although related viruses infect bats, molecular clock analyses have been unable to identify direct ancestors of MERS-CoV. Anecdotal exposure histories suggest that patients had been in contact with dromedary camels or goats. We investigated possible animal reservoirs of MERS-CoV by assessing specific serum antibodies in livestock. Methods: We took sera from animals in the Middle East (Oman) and from elsewhere (Spain, Netherlands, Chile). Cattle (n=80), sheep (n=40), goats (n=40), dromedary camels (n=155), and various other camelid species (n=34) were tested for specific serum IgG by protein microarray using the receptor-binding S1 subunits of spike proteins of MERS-CoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and human coronavirus OC43. Results were confirmed by virus neutralisation tests for MERS-CoV and bovine coronavirus. Findings: 50 of 50 (100%) sera from Omani camels and 15 of 105 (14%) from Spanish camels had protein-specific antibodies against MERS-CoV spike. Sera from European sheep, goats, cattle, and other camelids had no such antibodies. MERS-CoV neutralising antibody titres varied between 1/320 and 1/2560 for the Omani camel sera and between 1/20 and 1/320 for the Spanish camel sera. There was no evidence for cross-neutralisation by bovine coronavirus antibodies. Interpretation: MERS-CoV or a related virus has infected camel populations. Both titres and seroprevalences in sera from different locations in Oman suggest widespread infection. Funding: European Union, European Centre For Disease Prevention and Control, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Tostmann A.,European Center for Disease Control | Tostmann A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Tostmann A.,Public Health England | Bousema T.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 3 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

Outbreaks in which most or all persons were exposed to the same suspected source of infection, so-called universal exposure, are common. They represent a challenge for public health specialists because conducting analytical studies in such investigations is complicated by the absence of a nonexposed group. We describe different strategies that can support investigations of outbreaks with universal exposure. The value of descriptive epidemiology, extensive environmental investigation, and the hypothesis-generation phase cannot be overemphasized. An exposure that seems universal may in fact not be universal when additional aspects of the exposure are taken into account. Each exposure has unique characteristics that may not be captured when investigators rely on the tools readily at hand, such as standard questionnaires. We therefore encourage field epidemiologists to be creative and consider the use of alternative data sources or original techniques in their investigations of outbreaks with universal exposure. Source

Bone A.,Institute of Veille Sanitaire | Bone A.,European Center for Disease Control | Guthmann J.-P.,Institute of Veille Sanitaire | Nicolau J.,Institute of Veille Sanitaire | Levy-Bruhl D.,Institute of Veille Sanitaire
Vaccine | Year: 2010

A mass vaccination campaign against influenza A/H1N1 was launched in France in October 2009. Vaccination was offered free of charge to the entire population according to a pre-defined order of priority. Demographic data and data on vaccinations given were recorded in a dedicated database. We analysed vaccine uptake by age, sex and region in the overall population and in certain risk groups, including pregnant women. Overall vaccine uptake was 8% and varied by age-group and sex. Vaccine uptake in pregnant women was 22.7%. These low uptakes may reflect controversies around the vaccine and vaccination policy and have important implications for future pandemic vaccination strategies. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

de Sousa R.,National Health Research Institute | de Sousa R.,European Center for Disease Control | Reusken C.,National Health Research Institute | Reusken C.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Virology | Year: 2014

Since the emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, many questions remain on modes of transmission and sources of virus. In outbreak situations, especially with emerging organisms causing severe human disease, it is important to understand the full spectrum of disease, and shedding kinetics in relation to infectivity and the ability to transmit the microorganism. Laboratory response capacity during the early stages of an outbreak focuses on development of virological and immunological methods for patient diagnosis, for contact tracing, and for epidemiological studies into sources, modes of transmission, identification of risk groups, and animal reservoirs. However, optimal use of this core public health laboratory capacity requires a fundamental understanding of kinetics of viral shedding and antibody response, of assay validation and of interpretation of test outcomes. We reviewed available data from MERS-CoV case reports, and compared this with data on kinetics of shedding and immune response from published literature on other human coronaviruses (hCoVs). We identify and discuss important data gaps, and biases that limit the laboratory preparedness to this novel disease. Public health management will benefit from standardised reporting of methods used, details of test outcomes by sample type, sampling date, in relation to symptoms and risk factors, along with the currently reported demographic, clinical and epidemiological findings. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Schlagenhauf P.,University of Zurich | Santos-O'Connor F.,European Center for Disease Control | Parola P.,North University Hospital of Marseille
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2010

Europe, because of its geographical location, strategic position on trade routes, and colonial past, has a long history of caring for travellers' health. Within Europe, there is great diversity in the practice of travel medicine. Some countries have travel medicine societies and provisions for a periodic distribution of recommendations, but many countries have no national pre-travel guidelines and follow international recommendations such as those provided by the WHO. Providers of travel medicine include tropical medicine specialists, general practice nurses and physicians, specialist 'travel clinics', occupational physicians, and pharmacists. One of the core functions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control-funded network of travel and tropical medicine professionals, EuroTravNet, is to document the status quo of travel medicine in Europe. A three-pronged approach is used, with a real-time online questionnaire, a structured interview with experts in each country, and web searching. © 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Source

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