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Yoshikawa T.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Fukushi S.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Tani H.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Fukuma A.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | And 25 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2014

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease with a high case fatality risk and is caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV). A retrospective study conducted after the first identification of an SFTS patient in Japan revealed that SFTS is endemic to the region, and the virus exists indigenously in Japan. Since the nucleotide sequence of Japanese SFTSV strains contains considerable differences compared with that of Chinese strains, there is an urgent need to establish a sensitive and specific method capable of detecting the Chinese and Japanese strains of SFTSV. A conventional one-step reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) (cvPCR) method and a quantitative one-step RT-PCR (qPCR) method were developed to detect the SFTSV genome. Both cvPCR and qPCR detected a Chinese SFTSV strain. Forty-one of 108 Japanese patients suspected of having SFTS showed a positive reaction by cvPCR. The results from the samples of 108 Japanese patients determined by the qPCR method were in almost complete agreement with those determined by cvPCR. The analyses of the viral copy number level in the patient blood samples at the acute phase determined by qPCR in association with the patient outcome confirmed that the SFTSV RNA load in the blood of the nonsurviving patients was significantly higher than that of the surviving patients. Therefore, the cvPCR and qPCR methods developed in this study can provide a powerful means for diagnosing SFTS. In addition, the detection of the SFTSV genome level by qPCR in the blood of the patients at the acute phase may serve as an indicator to predict the outcome of SFTS. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


PubMed | Oita Prefectural Institute of Health and Environment, Pharmaceutical and Environmental science Center, Okayama Prefectural Institute for Public Health and Environmental Science, Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Consumer science and 14 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of infectious diseases | Year: 2015

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is a tick-borne acute infectious disease caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV). SFTS has been reported in China, South Korea, and Japan as a novel Bunyavirus. Although several molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic studies have been performed, the information obtained was limited, because the analyses included no or only a small number of SFTSV strains from Japan.The nucleotide sequences of 75 SFTSV samples in Japan were newly determined directly from the patients serum samples. In addition, the sequences of 7 strains isolated in vitro were determined and compared with those in the patients serum samples. More than 90 strains that were identified in China, 1 strain in South Korea, and 50 strains in Japan were phylogenetically analyzed.The viruses were clustered into 2 clades, which were consistent with the geographic distribution. Three strains identified in Japan were clustered in the Chinese clade, and 4 strains identified in China and 26 in South Korea were clustered in the Japanese clade.Two clades of SFTSV may have evolved separately over time. On rare occasions, the viruses were transmitted overseas to the region in which viruses of the other clade were prevalent.


PubMed | Pharmaceutical and Environmental science Center, Ibaraki Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Yamaguchi Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environment, Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Consumer science and 10 more.
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Journal of clinical microbiology | Year: 2014

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease with a high case fatality risk and is caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV). A retrospective study conducted after the first identification of an SFTS patient in Japan revealed that SFTS is endemic to the region, and the virus exists indigenously in Japan. Since the nucleotide sequence of Japanese SFTSV strains contains considerable differences compared with that of Chinese strains, there is an urgent need to establish a sensitive and specific method capable of detecting the Chinese and Japanese strains of SFTSV. A conventional one-step reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) (cvPCR) method and a quantitative one-step RT-PCR (qPCR) method were developed to detect the SFTSV genome. Both cvPCR and qPCR detected a Chinese SFTSV strain. Forty-one of 108 Japanese patients suspected of having SFTS showed a positive reaction by cvPCR. The results from the samples of 108 Japanese patients determined by the qPCR method were in almost complete agreement with those determined by cvPCR. The analyses of the viral copy number level in the patient blood samples at the acute phase determined by qPCR in association with the patient outcome confirmed that the SFTSV RNA load in the blood of the nonsurviving patients was significantly higher than that of the surviving patients. Therefore, the cvPCR and qPCR methods developed in this study can provide a powerful means for diagnosing SFTS. In addition, the detection of the SFTSV genome level by qPCR in the blood of the patients at the acute phase may serve as an indicator to predict the outcome of SFTS.


PubMed | Oita Prefectural Institute of Health and Environment, Kumamoto Prefectural Meat Inspection Office, University of Miyazaki, Toyama Institute of Health and 13 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Open forum infectious diseases | Year: 2015

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 infection causes severe diseases such as bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Although EHEC O157:H7 strains have exhibited high genetic variability, their abilities to cause human diseases have not been fully examined.Clade typing and stx subtyping of EHEC O157:H7 strains, which were isolated in Japan during 1999-2011 from 269 HUS patients and 387 asymptomatic carriers (ACs) and showed distinct pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns, were performed to determine relationships between specific lineages and clinical presentation.Clades 6 and 8 strains were more frequently found among the isolates from HUS cases than those from ACs (P = .00062 for clade 6, P < .0001 for clade 8). All clade 6 strains isolated from HUS patients harbored stx2a and/or stx2c, whereas all clade 8 strains harbored either stx2a or stx2a/stx2c. However, clade 7 strains were predominantly found among the AC isolates but less frequently found among the HUS isolates, suggesting a significant association between clade 7 and AC (P < .0001). Logistic regression analysis revealed that 0-9 year old age is a significant predictor of the association between clade 8 and HUS. We also found an intact norV gene, which encodes for a nitric oxide reductase that inhibits Shiga toxin activity under anaerobic condition, in all clades 1-3 isolates but not in clades 4-8 isolates.Early detection of EHEC O157:H7 strains that belonged to clades 6/8 and harbored specific stx subtypes may be important for defining the risk of disease progression in EHEC-infected 0- to 9-year-old children.


Taira Y.,Nagasaki University | Taira Y.,Nagasaki Prefectural Institute for Environmental Research and Public Health | Hayashida N.,Nagasaki University | Yamaguchi H.,Nagasaki University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

To evaluate the environmental contamination and radiation exposure dose rates due to artificial radionuclides in Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture, the restricted area within a 30-km radius from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP), the concentrations of artificial radionuclides in soil samples, tree needles, and mushrooms were analyzed by gamma spectrometry. Nine months have passed since samples were collected on December 19 and 20, 2011, 9 months after the FNPP accident, and the prevalent dose-forming artificial radionuclides from all samples were 134Cs and 137Cs. The estimated external effective doses from soil samples were 0.42-7.2 μSv/h (3.7-63.0 mSv/y) within the 20-km radius from FNPP and 0.0011-0.38 μSv/h (0.010-3.3 mSv/y) within the 20-30 km radius from FNPP. The present study revealed that current levels are sufficiently decreasing in Kawauchi Village, especially in areas within the 20- to 30-km radius from FNPP. Thus, residents may return their homes with long-term follow-up of the environmental monitoring and countermeasures such as decontamination and restrictions of the intake of foods for reducing unnecessary exposure. The case of Kawauchi Village will be the first model for the return to residents' homes after the FNPP accident. © 2012 Taira et al.


Taira Y.,Nagasaki University | Taira Y.,Nagasaki Prefectural Institute for Environmental Research and Public Health | Hayashida N.,Nagasaki University | Tsuchiya R.,Nagasaki University | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

For the current on-site evaluation of the environmental contamination and contributory external exposure after the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) and the nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Testing Site (SNTS), the concentrations of artificial radionuclides in soil samples from each area were analyzed by gamma spectrometry. Four artificial radionuclides (241Am,134Cs, 137Cs, and 60Co) were detected in surface soil around CNPP, whereas seven artificial radionuclides (241Am, 57Co,137Cs, 95Zr, 95Nb, 58Co, and 60Co) were detected in surface soil around SNTS. Effective doses around CNPP were over the public dose limit of 1 mSv/y (International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1991). These levels in a contaminated area 12 km from Unit 4 were high, whereas levels in a decontaminated area 12 km from Unit 4 and another contaminated area 15 km from Unit 4 were comparatively low. On the other hand, the effective doses around SNTS were below the public dose limit. These findings suggest that the environmental contamination and effective doses on the ground definitely decrease with decontamination such as removing surface soil, although the effective doses of the sampling points around CNPP in the present study were all over the public dose limit. Thus, the remediation of soil as a countermeasure could be an extremely effective method not only for areas around CNPP and SNTS but also for areas around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP), and external exposure levels will be certainly reduced. Long-term follow-up of environmental monitoring around CNPP, SNTS, and FNPP, as well as evaluation of the health effects in the population residing around these areas, could contribute to radiation safety and reduce unnecessary exposure to the public. © 2013 Taira et al.


Taira Y.,Nagasaki University | Taira Y.,Nagasaki Prefectural Institute for Environmental Research and Public Health | Hayashida N.,Nagasaki University | Orita M.,Nagasaki University | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2014

The external and internal exposure doses due to artificial radionuclides after the return of residents to their homes in Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture, including the restricted area within a 20-km radius from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP), were evaluated by gamma spectrometry of the soils and local agricultural products. The prevalent dose-forming artificial radionuclides from all samples were determined to be 134Cs and 137Cs (radiocesium). The estimated external effective doses from soils sampled on December 24 and 25, 2012 were 0.0017-9.2 mSv/y in the areas within a 20- to 30-km radius from the FNPP and 0.39-1.3 mSv/y in the areas within a 20-km radius from the FNPP. These levels appeared to be decreasing, despite the distance from the FNPP (median: 0.21 (0.012-0.56) mSv/y), compared to the levels just before the return of the residents to their homes on December 19 and 20, 2011 (median: 0.85 (0.40-1.4) mSv/y). The committed effective doses from the local agricultural samples in Kawauchi Village from May 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013 were sufficiently low, in the range of 18-44 μSv/y for males and 20-48 μSv/y for females (the range was 18-48 μSv/y for children and 25-43 μSv/y for adults), compared to the public dose limit (1 mSv/y, ICRP, 1991), although the potential for radiation exposure still exists. Residents who have not yet returned may be able to return to their homes with a long-term follow-up of environmental monitoring and countermeasures to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Chang B.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Taguri T.,Nagasaki Prefectural Institute for Environmental Research and Public Health | Sugiyama K.,Shizuoka Institute of Environment and Hygiene | Amemura-Maekawa J.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | And 2 more authors.
Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Ethidium monoazide (EMA) and propidium monoazide (PMA) have been utilized for selective PCR amplification of DNA from viable bacterial cells. In this study, we compared the abilities of EMA and PMA, together with real-time PCR, to specifically distinguish dead Legionella cells from viable cells. Several experiments showed that PMA or EMA treatment could specifically prevent the PCR amplification of DNA from dead Legionella cells in water samples. However, a 4-fold higher concentration of PMA than EMA was required to achieve this effect. EMA may therefore be more useful for practical environmental investigations of Legionella.

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