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Carrera J.-P.,University of Panama | Forrester N.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Wang E.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Vittor A.Y.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 17 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: The eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) viruses are pathogens that infect humans and horses in the Americas. Outbreaks of neurologic disease in humans and horses were reported in Panama from May through early August 2010. METHODS: We performed antibody assays and tests to detect viral RNA and isolate the viruses in serum samples from hospitalized patients. Additional cases were identified with enhanced surveillance. RESULTS: A total of 19 patients were hospitalized for encephalitis. Among them, 7 had confirmed EEE, 3 had VEE, and 1 was infected with both viruses; 3 patients died, 1 of whom had confirmed VEE. The clinical findings for patients with EEE included brain lesions, seizures that evolved to status epilepticus, and neurologic sequelae. An additional 99 suspected or probable cases of alphavirus infection were detected during active surveillance. In total, 13 cases were confirmed as EEE, along with 11 cases of VEE and 1 case of dual infection. A total of 50 cases in horses were confirmed as EEE and 8 as VEE; mixed etiologic factors were associated with 11 cases in horses. Phylogenetic analyses of isolates from 2 cases of equine infection with the EEE virus and 1 case of human infection with the VEE virus indicated that the viruses were of enzootic lineages previously identified in Panama rather than new introductions. CONCLUSIONS: Cases of EEE in humans in Latin America may be the result of ecologic changes that increased human contact with enzootic transmission cycles, genetic changes in EEE viral strains that resulted in increased human virulence, or an altered host range. Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Adhikari R.P.,Ministry of Agricultural Development
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

From a value chain (VC) development perspective, the readiness of prospective actors and stakeholders to engage in VC development is a core strategic capability. VC analysis has been used in the past to achieve strategic improvement by identifying opportunities and constraints in existing chains, but there is little evidence of VC analysis being used to explore the readiness of actors and stakeholders to participate in VC development processes, especially in the developing countries. This study examines the preparedness of actors and stakeholders of tomato VC in Nepal to develop rural-urban interfaces. A framework for VC analysis was developed to explore VC actors readiness to participate in VC development from the VC management, strategic management and development literature. Data used in the analysis were collected in 2010 and 2011. Data included desktop reviews, memos recorded during the walking-the-chain observations and semi-structured interviews with actors and stakeholders in case study chains. Relevant responses from semi-structured interviews and memos were analysed using a template approach to coding. The study found that actors and stakeholders in the case study VCs were underprepared for VC development. Based on the findings, ways to prepare these actors and stakeholders for the journey of VC development are suggested. The implications of this study are that it develops and tests a framework of VC analysis that can be used to understand the readiness of VC actors and stakeholders to participate in VC development.

Sharma B.K.,Massey University | Manandhar S.,Ministry of Agricultural Development | Devleesschauwer B.,University of Florida | Devleesschauwer B.,Ghent University
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2015

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has spread throughout Asia, causing significant losses to commercial farmers and smallholders. However, little is known about PRRS in Nepal, a South Asian country with a gradually increasing pig industry. In 2011, a pilot project was initiated to identify the status of PRRSV in pigs of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Out of 98 serum samples, 31 (32 %; 95 % CI 23–42 %) were found positive by ELISA. All positive samples belonged to the type 2 (North American) genotype. Molecular evaluation by real-time PCR however did not yield positive results. At the herd level, seropositivity was associated with a history of abortion and premature birth. Veterinarians, farmers and government should be aware of this threat to the Nepalese pig industry and initiate an appropriate response. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Qamer F.M.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Shah S.N.Pd.,Ministry of Agricultural Development | Murthy M.S.R.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Baidar T.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Dhonju K.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development
International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives | Year: 2014

In Nepal, two thirds of the total population depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and more than one third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from the agriculture sector. However, effective agriculture production across the country remains a serious challenge due to various factors, such as a high degree of spatial and temporal climate variability, irrigated and rain-fed agriculture systems, farmers' fragile social and economic fabric, and unique mountain practices. ICIMOD through SERVIR-Himalaya initiative with collaboration of Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) is working on developing a comprehensive crop monitoring system which aims to provide timely information on crop growth and drought development conditions. This system analyzes historical climate and crop conditions patterns and compares this data with the current growing season to provide timely assessment of crop growth. Using remote sensing data for vegetation indices, temperature and rainfall, the system generated anomaly maps are inferred to predict the increase or shortfall in production. Comparisons can be made both spatially and in graphs and figures at district and Village Developmental Committee (VDC) levels. Timely information on possible anomaly in crop production is later used by the institutions like Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal and World Food Programme, Nepal to trigger appropriate management response. Future potential includes integrating data on agricultural inputs, socioeconomics, demographics, and transportation to holistically assess food security in the region served by SERVIR-Himalaya.

Devleesschauwer B.,Ghent University | Devleesschauwer B.,Catholic University of Louvain | Devleesschauwer B.,University of Florida | Aryal A.,Central Veterinary Hospital | And 14 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2016

Background: Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral zoonosis belonging to the group of neglected tropical diseases. Exposure to a rabid animal may result in a fatal acute encephalitis if effective post-exposure prophylaxis is not provided. Rabies occurs worldwide, but its burden is disproportionately high in developing countries, including Nepal. We aimed to summarize current knowledge on the epidemiology, impact and control of rabies in Nepal. Methods: We performed a systematic review of international and national scientific literature and searched grey literature through the World Health Organization Digital Library and the library of the National Zoonoses and Food Hygiene Research Centre, Nepal, and through searching Google and Google Scholar. Further data on animal and human rabies were obtained from the relevant Nepalese government agencies. Finally, we surveyed the archives of a Nepalese daily to obtain qualitative information on rabies in Nepal. Findings: So far, only little original research has been conducted on the epidemiology and impact of rabies in Nepal. Per year, rabies is reported to kill about 100 livestock and 10–100 humans, while about 1,000 livestock and 35,000 humans are reported to receive rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. However, these estimates are very likely to be serious underestimations of the true rabies burden. Significant progress has been made in the production of cell culture-based anti-rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin, but availability and supply remain a matter of concern, especially in remote areas. Different state and non-state actors have initiated rabies control activities over the years, but efforts typically remained focalized, of short duration and not harmonized. Communication and coordination between veterinary and human health authorities is limited at present, further complicating rabies control in Nepal. Important research gaps include the reporting biases for both human and animal rabies, the ecology of stray dog populations and the true contribution of the sylvatic cycle. Interpretation: Better data are needed to unravel the true burden of animal and human rabies. More collaboration, both within the country and within the region, is needed to control rabies. To achieve these goals, high level political commitment is essential. We therefore propose to make rabies the model zoonosis for successful control in Nepal. © 2016 Devleesschauwer et al.

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