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Cruz C.D.,Us Naval Medical Research Unit 6 | Forshey B.M.,Us Naval Medical Research Unit 6 | Vallejo E.,Servicio Departamental de Salud | Agudo R.,Servicio Departamental de Salud | And 5 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

To better describe the genetic diversity of hantaviruses associated with human illness in South America, we screened blood samples from febrile patients in Chapare Province in central Bolivia during 2008-2009 for recent hantavirus infection. Hantavirus RNA was detected in 3 patients, including 1 who died. Partial RNA sequences of small and medium segments from the 3 patients were most closely related to Andes virus lineages but distinct (<90% nt identity) from reported strains. A survey for IgG against hantaviruses among residents of Chapare Province indicated that 12.2% of the population had past exposure to >1 hantaviruses; the highest prevalence was among agricultural workers. Because of the high level of human exposure to hantavirus strains and the severity of resulting disease, additional studies are warranted to determine the reservoirs, ecologic range, and public health effect of this novel strain of hantavirus.


Stoddard S.T.,University of California at Davis | Stoddard S.T.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Wearing H.J.,University of New Mexico | Reiner Jr. R.C.,University of California at Davis | And 13 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Introduction:Long-term disease surveillance data provide a basis for studying drivers of pathogen transmission dynamics. Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease caused by four distinct, but related, viruses (DENV-1-4) that potentially affect over half the world's population. Dengue incidence varies seasonally and on longer time scales, presumably driven by the interaction of climate and host susceptibility. Precise understanding of dengue dynamics is constrained, however, by the relative paucity of laboratory-confirmed longitudinal data.Methods:We studied 10 years (2000-2010) of laboratory-confirmed, clinic-based surveillance data collected in Iquitos, Peru. We characterized inter and intra-annual patterns of dengue dynamics on a weekly time scale using wavelet analysis. We explored the relationships of case counts to climatic variables with cross-correlation maps on annual and trimester bases.Findings:Transmission was dominated by single serotypes, first DENV-3 (2001-2007) then DENV-4 (2008-2010). After 2003, incidence fluctuated inter-annually with outbreaks usually occurring between October and April. We detected a strong positive autocorrelation in case counts at a lag of ∼70 weeks, indicating a shift in the timing of peak incidence year-to-year. All climatic variables showed modest seasonality and correlated weakly with the number of reported dengue cases across a range of time lags. Cases were reduced after citywide insecticide fumigation if conducted early in the transmission season.Conclusions:Dengue case counts peaked seasonally despite limited intra-annual variation in climate conditions. Contrary to expectations for this mosquito-borne disease, no climatic variable considered exhibited a strong relationship with transmission. Vector control operations did, however, appear to have a significant impact on transmission some years. Our results indicate that a complicated interplay of factors underlie DENV transmission in contexts such as Iquitos. © 2014.


PubMed | Us Naval Medical Research Center, Hospital Apoyo Iquitos, Hospital Regional Iquitos, Us Naval Medical Research Unit No 6 and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS neglected tropical diseases | Year: 2014

Long-term disease surveillance data provide a basis for studying drivers of pathogen transmission dynamics. Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease caused by four distinct, but related, viruses (DENV-1-4) that potentially affect over half the worlds population. Dengue incidence varies seasonally and on longer time scales, presumably driven by the interaction of climate and host susceptibility. Precise understanding of dengue dynamics is constrained, however, by the relative paucity of laboratory-confirmed longitudinal data.We studied 10 years (2000-2010) of laboratory-confirmed, clinic-based surveillance data collected in Iquitos, Peru. We characterized inter and intra-annual patterns of dengue dynamics on a weekly time scale using wavelet analysis. We explored the relationships of case counts to climatic variables with cross-correlation maps on annual and trimester bases.Transmission was dominated by single serotypes, first DENV-3 (2001-2007) then DENV-4 (2008-2010). After 2003, incidence fluctuated inter-annually with outbreaks usually occurring between October and April. We detected a strong positive autocorrelation in case counts at a lag of 70 weeks, indicating a shift in the timing of peak incidence year-to-year. All climatic variables showed modest seasonality and correlated weakly with the number of reported dengue cases across a range of time lags. Cases were reduced after citywide insecticide fumigation if conducted early in the transmission season.Dengue case counts peaked seasonally despite limited intra-annual variation in climate conditions. Contrary to expectations for this mosquito-borne disease, no climatic variable considered exhibited a strong relationship with transmission. Vector control operations did, however, appear to have a significant impact on transmission some years. Our results indicate that a complicated interplay of factors underlie DENV transmission in contexts such as Iquitos.


Mullins K.E.,Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Mullins K.E.,Us Naval Medical Research Center | Hang J.,U.S. Army | Jiang J.,Us Naval Medical Research Center | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2013

A recently described clinical isolate, "Candidatus Bartonella ancashi," was obtained from a blood sample of a patient presenting with verruga peruana in the Ancash region of Peru. This sample and a second isolate obtained 60 days later from the same patient were molecularly typed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and multispacer sequence typing (MST). The isolates were 100% indistinguishable from each other but phylogenetically distant from Bartonella bacilliformis and considerably divergent from other known Bartonella species, confirming their novelty. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Clark J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Salvatierra J.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | Segura E.,University of California at Los Angeles | Salazar X.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | And 6 more authors.
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2013

Role-based sexual identities structure male same-sex partnerships and influence HIV/STI epidemiology among MSM in Latin America. We explored shifting relationships between sexual roles, identities and practices among MSM in Lima, Peru, and implications for HIV/STI prevention. Patterns of HIV/STI epidemiology reflected differential risks for transmission within role-based partnerships with relatively low prevalences of HIV, syphilis, and HSV-2 but higher prevalences of urethral gonorrhea/chlamydia among activo MSM compared with moderno and pasivo participants. Qualitative analysis of how MSM in Peru integrate sexual identities, roles, and practices identified four key themes: pasivo role as a gay approximation of cultural femininity; activo role as a heterosexual consolidation of masculinity; moderno role as a masculine reconceptualization of gay identity; and role-based identities as social determinants of partnership, network, and community formation. The concept of role-based sexual identities provides a framework for HIV prevention for Latin American MSM that integrates sexual identities, practices, partnerships, and networks. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Ruang-areerate T.,Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical science AFRIMS | Jeamwattanalert P.,Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science | Rodkvamtook W.,Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical science AFRIMS | Richards A.L.,Us Naval Medical Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2011

Scrub typhus, caused by antigenically disparate isolates of Orientia tsutsugamushi, is a widely distributed mite-borne human disease in the Asia Pacific region. Information regarding the heterogeneity of the immunodominant 56-kDa type-specific antigen (TSA) gene is crucial for the design and evaluation of scrub typhusspecific diagnostic assays and vaccines. Using indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFA) and PCR assays, O. tsutsugamushi was detected samples from rodents and patients with fever of unknown origin obtained from six provinces of Thailand during 2004 to 2007. Sequences were determined for a fragment of the 56-kDa TSA gene, and the relationship between these sequences and those previously determined were assessed. The phylogenetic analyses of partial 56-kDa TSA gene sequences demonstrated wide diversity and distribution of O. tsutsugamushi genotypes in Thailand. Furthermore, the genetic diversity grouped the scrub typhus agents into two commonly and five infrequently found genotypes within six provinces of Thailand. The two most commonly found genotypes of O. tsutsugamushi described in this study do not associate with the prototype strains that are widely used for the design and evaluation of diagnostic assays and vaccine candidates. Thus, these new genotypes should be considered for future scrub typhus assay and vaccine development. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


PubMed | Us Naval Medical Research Center, Us Naval Medical Research Unit No 6, Kantonsspital Baden, Instituto Nacional Of Salud and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS neglected tropical diseases | Year: 2016

Using a large, passive, clinic-based surveillance program in Iquitos, Peru, we characterized the prevalence of rickettsial infections among undifferentiated febrile cases and obtained evidence of pathogen transmission in potential domestic reservoir contacts and their ectoparasites. Blood specimens from humans and animals were assayed for spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFGR) and typhus group rickettsiae (TGR) by ELISA and/or PCR; ectoparasites were screened by PCR. Logistic regression was used to determine associations between patient history, demographic characteristics of participants and symptoms, clinical findings and outcome of rickettsial infection. Of the 2,054 enrolled participants, almost 2% showed evidence of seroconversion or a 4-fold rise in antibody titers specific for rickettsiae between acute and convalescent blood samples. Of 190 fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) and 60 ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) tested, 185 (97.4%) and 3 (5%), respectively, were positive for Rickettsia spp. Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis was identified in 100% and 33% of the fleas and ticks tested, respectively. Collectively, our serologic data indicates that human pathogenic SFGR are present in the Peruvian Amazon and pose a significant risk of infection to individuals exposed to wild, domestic and peri-domestic animals and their ectoparasites.


Wang H.-C.H.,U.S. Army | Choi J.-H.,U.S. Army | Greene W.A.,U.S. Army | Plamper M.L.,U.S. Army | And 5 more authors.
Military Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Blast-induced ocular trauma is a frequent cause of morbidity for survivors of improvised explosive devices. Blast overpressure (BOP) of 120 ± 7 KPa has been shown to cause damage to lungs, brain, and gut in a rat model; however, the effects of BOP on ocular tissues have not been characterized. To elucidate the pathophysiology of blast-induced ocular trauma, ocular tissues from rats subjected to blast were examined for evidence of apoptosis by the detection of activated caspase 3 and TUNEL assay in their ocular tissues. Methods: A compressed air shock tube was used to deliver 120 ± 7 KPa of BOP for duration of 2 msec to the right side of the rats. Rats were then euthanized at specific time points after blast exposure (3 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours). Ocular tissues were processed for immunohistochemistry to detect activated caspase 3 and TUNEL assay. Tissues were evaluated for relative levels of positive signal as compared to nonblast exposed controls. Results: Activated caspase 3 was detected in the optic nerve, ganglion layer, and inner nuclear layer post blast exposure. At 24 and 48 hours, the inner nuclear layer from the right side had more cells with activated caspase 3. In the optic nerve, the highest levels of activated caspase 3 were detected on the right side at 24 hours post blast. Conclusion: BOP of 120 ± 7 KPa induces optic neuropathy and retinal damage. In both the optic nerve and retina, caspase 3 was activated in the right and left sides following blast exposure. The results of this study reveal that blast exposure induces apoptosis in both the optic nerve and retinal tissues. © Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved.


Hang J.,U.S. Army | Forshey B.M.,Us Naval Medical Research Unit No 6 | Yang Y.,U.S. Army | Fiestas Solorzano V.,Instituto Nacional Of Salud | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Group C orthobunyaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Orthobunyavirus), discovered in the 1950s, are vector-borne human pathogens in the Americas. Currently there is a gap in genomic information for group C viruses. In this study, we obtained complete coding region sequences of reference strains of Caraparu (CARV), Oriboca (ORIV), Marituba (MTBV) and Madrid (MADV) viruses, and five clinical isolates from Peru and Bolivia, using an unbiased de novo approach consisting of random reverse transcription, random anchored PCR amplification, and high throughput pyrosequencing. The small, medium, and large segments encode for a 235 amino acid nucleocapsid protein, an approximately 1430 amino acid surface glycoprotein polyprotein precursor, and a 2248 amino acid RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, respectively. Additionally, the S segment encodes for an 83 amino acid non-structural protein, although this protein is truncated or silenced in some isolates. Phylogenetically, three clinical isolates clustered with CARV, one clustered with MTBV, and one isolate appeared to be a reassortant or a genetic drift resulted from the high variability of the medium segment which was also seen in a few other orthobunyaviruses. These data represent the first complete coding region sequences for this serocomplex of pathogenic orthobunyaviruses. The genome-wide phylogeny of reference strains is consistent with the antigenic properties of the viruses reported in the original serological studies conducted in the 1960s. Comparative analysis of conserved protein regions across group C virus strains and the other orthobunyavirus groups revealed that these group C viruses contain characteristic domains of potential structural and functional significance. Our results provide the basis for the developments of diagnostics, further genetic analyses, and future epidemiologic studies of group C viruses.


Hang J.,U.S. Army | Forshey B.M.,Us Naval Medical Research Unit Six | Kochel T.J.,Us Naval Medical Research Unit Six | Kochel T.J.,Us Naval Medical Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biomolecular Techniques | Year: 2012

SsRNA viruses have high levels of genomic divergence, which can lead to difficulty in genomic characterization of new viruses using traditional PCR amplification and sequencing methods. In this study, random reverse transcription, anchored random PCR amplification, and high-throughput pyrosequencing were used to identify orthobunyavirus sequences from total RNA extracted from viral cultures of acute febrile illness specimens. Draft genome sequence for the orthobunyavirus L segment was assembled and sequentially extended using de novo assembly contigs from pyrosequencing reads and orthobunyavirus sequences in GenBank as guidance. Accuracy and continuous coverage were achieved by mapping all reads to the L segment draft sequence. Subsequently, RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to complete the genome sequence. The complete L segment was found to be 6936 bases in length, encoding a 2248-aa putative RNA polymerase. The identified L segment was distinct from previously published South American orthobunyaviruses, sharing 63% and 54% identity at the nucleotide and amino acid level, respectively, with the complete Oropouche virus L segment and 73% and 81% identity at the nucleotide and amino acid level, respectively, with a partial Caraparu virus L segment. The result demonstrated the effectiveness of a sequence-independent amplification and next-generation sequencing approach for obtaining complete viral genomes from total nucleic acid extracts and its use in pathogen discovery. © 2012 ABRF.

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