Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch

Flowery Branch, GA, United States

Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch

Flowery Branch, GA, United States
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Anderson A.D.,Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch | Szymanski T.J.,01 N Roberts | Emery M.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kohrs P.H.,111 Washington St SE | And 8 more authors.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association | Year: 2015

Objective—To describe the epizootiological investigation of an outbreak of Q fever (Coxi- ella burnetii infection). Design—Epidemiological study. Animals—17 goat herds in Washington, Montana, and Oregon. Procedures—In April 2011, an abortion storm at a commercial goat farm in Washington was determined to be caused by C burnetii. A joint epidemiological investigation by public health and veterinary professionals was subsequently performed to assess the extent of the outbreak by performing a trace-forward of goats sold from the index farm, to determine risk factors associated with infection, and to implement control measures. A herd management plan was developed to control the outbreak and reduce risk of human exposure. Quarantine and temporary holds preventing the sale or movement of goats allowed time for trace-forward investigation, education of farmers regarding disease risk, and testing to determine the scope of the outbreak. Results—17 farms were affected; 21 human Q fever cases were identified. Bacterial shedding in feces, vaginal fluid, or milk was confirmed in 156 of 629 (25%) goats tested by PCR assay. Seroprevalence of antibodies against C burnetii in goats, determined by ELISA, was 12%. The risk for C burnetii infection in goats was highest among females, those on farms associated with human Q fever, and those on Washington farms. A protective effect was observed for goats at farms where the primary form of goat carcass disposal was burial. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This outbreak illustrated the importance of a joint investigation for zoonotic pathogens and the need to expand and strengthen relationships between medical, public health, and veterinary partners. Heightened awareness and enhanced veterinary diagnostic capabilities for C burnetii are needed to identify and control outbreaks expediently. © 2015, American Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


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.


Loftis A.D.,University of Trinidad and Tobago | Reeves W.K.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Reeves W.K.,University of Wyoming | Miller M.M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Massung R.F.,Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2012

Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, is an intracellular bacterial pathogen. It has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. We conducted a serological survey of domestic sheep herds for infections with C. burnetii in Wyoming following reports of abortion and open ewes. Based on the serologic evidence, there was no link between reproductive problems and exposure to C. burnetii. However, the overall prevalence of C. burnetii in WY sheep was 7%, which indicates that the agent is present in the environment and could pose a threat to public health. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Premaratna R.,University of Kelaniya | Weerasinghe S.,University of Kelaniya | Ranaweera A.,University of Kelaniya | Chandrasena T.N.,University of Kelaniya | And 3 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2012

Background: Although an initial IFA-IgG titer greater or equal to 1/64 or 1/128 is considered positive in presumptive diagnosis, in clinical practice in an endemic setting for rickettsioses in Sri Lanka, some patients with IFA-IgG titer of 1/128 for either spotted fever group (SFG) or scrub typhus (ST) did not respond to treatment. Findings. To determine a clinically helpful diagnostic algorithm, IFA-IgG results of serologically confirmed treatment responders were analyzed in relation to duration of illness at sampling. Of 146 suspected SFG, 3 responders of 25 patients had titers ≤1/128 with < 7 days of illness while all 9 with titers ≥1/256 responded (false negative with 1/256 cutoff was 12%, false positive was 0%). For illness > 7 days, the false negative and positive rates were 4.3% (3/59) and 11.3% (6/53). Of 115 suspected ST, false negative and positive rates with ≥1/256 cutoff at <7 days of illness were 14.2% (2/14) and 0% (0/8) respectively while > 7 days, false negative and positive rates were 2% (1/51) and 0% (0/42). Conclusions: For clinical decision making, duration of illness at sampling is important in interpreting serology results in an endemic setting. If sample is obtained ≤7 day of illness, an IgG titer of ≤1/128 requires a follow up sample in the diagnosis and > 7 days of illness, a single ≥1/256 titer is diagnostic for all ST and 90% of SFG. © 2012 Premaratna et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Adjemian J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Weber I.B.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | McQuiston J.,Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch | Griffith K.S.,Bacterial Diseases Branch | And 18 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2012

U.S. National Park Service employees may have prolonged exposure to wildlife and arthropods, placing them at increased risk of infection with endemic zoonoses. To evaluate possible zoonotic risks present at both Great Smoky Mountains (GRSM) and Rocky Mountain (ROMO) National Parks, we assessed park employees for baseline seroprevalence to specific zoonotic pathogens, followed by evaluation of incident infections over a 1-year study period. Park personnel showed evidence of prior infection with a variety of zoonotic agents, including California serogroup bunyaviruses (31.9%), Bartonella henselae (26.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (22.2%), Toxoplasma gondii (11.1%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (8.1%), Brucella spp. (8.9%), flaviviruses (2.2%), and Bacillus anthracis (1.5%). Over a 1-year study period, we detected incident infections with leptospirosis (5.7%), B. henselae (5.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (1.5%), T. gondii (1.5%), B. anthracis (1.5%), and La Crosse virus (1.5%) in staff members at GRSM, and with spotted fever group rickettsiae (8.5%) and B. henselae (4.3%) in staff at ROMO. The risk of any incident infection was greater for employees who worked as resource managers (OR 7.4; 95% CI 1.4,37.5; p=0.02), and as law enforcement rangers/rescue crew (OR 6.5; 95% CI 1.1,36.5; p=0.03), relative to those who worked primarily in administration or management. The results of this study increase our understanding of the pathogens circulating within both parks, and can be used to inform the development of effective guidelines and interventions to increase visitor and staff awareness and help prevent exposure to zoonotic agents. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.


Eremeeva M.E.,Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch | Eremeeva M.E.,Georgia Southern University | Karpathy S.E.,Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch | Krueger L.,Center for Infectious Diseases | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2012

Results of an environmental assessment conducted in a newly emergent focus of murine typhus in southern California are described. Opossums, Didelphis virginiana Kerr, infested with cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis Buch, in the suburban area were abundant. Animal and flea specimens were tested for the DNA of two flea-borne rickettsiae, Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis. R. felis was commonly detected in fleas collected throughout this area while R. typhi was found at a much lower prevalence in the vicinity of just 7 of 14 case-patient homes identified. DNA of R. felis, but not R. typhi, was detected in renal, hepatic, and pulmonary tissues of opossums. In contrast, there were no hematologic polymerase chain reaction findings of R. felis or R. typhi in opossums, rats, and cats within the endemic area studied. Our data suggest a significant probability of human exposure to R. felis in the area studied; however, disease caused by this agent is not recognized by the medical community and may be misdiagnosed as murine typhus using nondiscriminatory serologic methods. © 2012 Entomological Society of America.

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