Detection of poliovirus circulation by environmental surveillance in the absence of clinical cases in Israel and the Palestinian authority.
The global eradication of poliomyelitis, believed to be achievable around the year 2000, relies on strategies which include high routine immunization coverage and mass vaccination campaigns, along with continuous monitoring of wild-type virus circulation by using the laboratory-based acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance. Israel and the Palestinian Authority are located in a geographical region in which poliovirus is still endemic but have been free of poliomyelitis since 1988 as a result of intensive immunization programs and mass vaccination campaigns. To monitor the wild-type virus circulation, environmental surveillance of sewage samples collected monthly from 25 to 30 sites across the country was implemented in 1989 and AFP surveillance began in 1994. The sewage samples were processed in the laboratory with a double-selective tissue culture system, which enabled economical processing of large number of samples. Between 1989 and 1997, 2,294 samples were processed, and wild-type poliovirus was isolated from 17 of them in four clusters, termed "silent outbreaks," in September 1990 (type 3), between May and September 1991 (type 1), between October 1994 and June 1995 (type 1), and in December 1996 (type 1). Fifteen of the 17 positive samples were collected in the Gaza Strip, 1 was collected in the West Bank, and 1 was collected in the Israeli city of Ashdod, located close to the Gaza Strip. The AFP surveillance system failed to detect the circulating wild-type viruses. These findings further emphasize the important role that environmental surveillance can play in monitoring the eradication of polioviruses. (+info)
Steady state assumptions in DALYs: effect on estimates of HIV impact.
OBJECTIVE: The disability adjusted life year (DALY) and the healthy life year (HeaLY) are both composite indicators of disease burden in a population, which combine healthy life lost from mortality and morbidity. The two formulations deal with the onset and course of a disease differently. The purpose of this paper is to compare the DALY and HeaLY formulations as to differences in apparent impact when a disease is not in an epidemiological steady state and to explore the implications of the differing results. DESIGN: HIV is used as a case study of a major disease that is entering its explosive growth phase in large areas of Asia. Data from the global burden of disease study of the World Bank and World Health Organisation for 1990 has been used to compare burden of disease measures in the two formulations. SETTING: The data pertain to global and regional estimates of HIV impact. RESULTS: The DALY attributes life lost from premature mortality to the year of death, while the HeaLY to the year of disease onset. This results in very large differences in estimates of healthy life lost based upon the DALY construct as compared with the HeaLY, for diseases such as HIV or those with a strong secular trend. CONCLUSION: The demonstration of the dramatic difference between the two indicators of disease burden reflects a limitation of the DALY. This information may directly influence decision making based on such methods and is critical to understand. (+info)
Helicobacter pylori: the Middle East scenario.
A review of Helicobacter pylori in the Middle East is presented. Prevalence studies have been performed in asymptomatic population groups from Algeria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. These showed that the prevalence of H. pylori is similar to that of the developing countries of the world with a high level of infection in childhood (40 to 70 percent), which increases with age to 85 to 90 percent. Israel, however, has a low prevalence in children (10 percent), but there is a rapid rise in the second decade of life to 39 percent, reaching 79 percent in those over 60 years old. The prevalence rates were higher in those living in communal settlements (72 percent) than in urban dwellers (65 percent). The infection rates were higher in persons of Mediterranean and Asian origin (89 percent) compared to those of Western European/North American origin (57 percent). The prevalence rate of H. pylori infection in patients undergoing endoscopy for upper gastrointestinal symptoms has now been reported from many Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Iran, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. These studies showed that patients with gastritis and peptic ulcer disease had similar rates of infection as reported from Europe, United States and Africa (71 to 92 percent). However, patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia had higher rates of infection (61 to 89 percent). The H. pylori scenario from the prevalence rates, treatment protocols and responses to treatment does not differ very much from other developing areas of the world. (+info)
"First aid for scalds" campaign: reaching Sydney's Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic speaking communities.
OBJECTIVES: As a serious yet preventable problem, scald injuries in children have been a priority for prevention in Australia and other developed countries. Not only can the occurrence of scalds be prevented, but immediate first aid treatment offers an effective method for secondary prevention, reducing the severity of scalds. Despite the success of scald prevention initiatives, local evidence suggested that first aid knowledge was lacking in some minority ethnic groups. To redress this gap, the "First Aid for Scalds" campaign for those from a non-English speaking background was specifically targeted to three ethnic groups (Vietnamese, Chinese, and Arabic), with the aim of increasing the proportions of parents and caregivers who had correct knowledge of first aid treatment for scalds. The primary strategy was a media campaign, including advertisements on ethnic radio and in ethnic newspapers. METHODS: The evaluation design included formative research and impact evaluation. The impact evaluation study involved random population based telephone surveys with each of the three language groups, before and after the campaign, to assess the reach and effectiveness of the campaign. RESULTS: After the campaign, there were significant increases in the proportion of people who knew the correct first aid treatment for scalds. There were substantial variations in campaign recall and knowledge between each of the three language groups. The largest improvement was found in the Vietnamese group. CONCLUSION: The association between campaign recall and increase in correct knowledge, and the absence of any similar interventions during the campaign period, give credence to the conclusion that the changes observed were a result of the campaign. The results demonstrate the value of community based injury prevention campaigns specifically targeting linguistically diverse communities. (+info)
Localization of a gene for autosomal recessive distal renal tubular acidosis with normal hearing (rdRTA2) to 7q33-34.
Failure of distal nephrons to excrete excess acid results in the "distal renal tubular acidoses" (dRTA). Early childhood features of autosomal recessive dRTA include severe metabolic acidosis with inappropriately alkaline urine, poor growth, rickets, and renal calcification. Progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is evident in approximately one-third of patients. We have recently identified mutations in ATP6B1, encoding the B-subunit of the collecting-duct apical proton pump, as a cause of recessive dRTA with SNHL. We now report the results of genetic analysis of 13 kindreds with recessive dRTA and normal hearing. Analysis of linkage and molecular examination of ATP6B1 indicated that mutation in ATP6B1 rarely, if ever, accounts for this phenotype, prompting a genomewide linkage search for loci underlying this trait. The results strongly supported linkage with locus heterogeneity to a segment of 7q33-34, yielding a maximum multipoint LOD score of 8.84 with 68% of kindreds linked. The LOD-3 support interval defines a 14-cM region flanked by D7S500 and D7S688. That 4 of these 13 kindreds do not support linkage to rdRTA2 and ATP6B1 implies the existence of at least one additional dRTA locus. These findings establish that genes causing recessive dRTA with normal and impaired hearing are different, and they identify, at 7q33-34, a new locus, rdRTA2, for recessive dRTA with normal hearing. (+info)
High incidence of penicillin resistance amongst clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae in northern Palestine.
One hundred and thirteen consecutive isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae were collected in Nablus, Palestine between March and Aug. 1997 from children with acute lower respiratory tract infections. Resistance rates were: penicillin 88%, cefuroxime 85%, erythromycin 63%, tetracycline 45%, chloramphenicol 27% and ofloxacin 2%. Resistances to erythromycin and cefuroxime were significantly associated with penicillin resistance. Ofloxacin may be useful against pneumococci resistant to traditional antimicrobial agents. Factors associated with penicillin resistance included hospitalisation and previous use of beta-lactam antibiotics. (+info)
Y chromosomes traveling south: the cohen modal haplotype and the origins of the Lemba--the "Black Jews of Southern Africa".
The Lemba are a traditionally endogamous group speaking a variety of Bantu languages who live in a number of locations in southern Africa. They claim descent from Jews who came to Africa from "Sena." "Sena" is variously identified by them as Sanaa in Yemen, Judea, Egypt, or Ethiopia. A previous study using Y-chromosome markers suggested both a Bantu and a Semitic contribution to the Lemba gene pool, a suggestion that is not inconsistent with Lemba oral tradition. To provide a more detailed picture of the Lemba paternal genetic heritage, we analyzed 399 Y chromosomes for six microsatellites and six biallelic markers in six populations (Lemba, Bantu, Yemeni-Hadramaut, Yemeni-Sena, Sephardic Jews, and Ashkenazic Jews). The high resolution afforded by the markers shows that Lemba Y chromosomes are clearly divided into Semitic and Bantu clades. Interestingly, one of the Lemba clans carries, at a very high frequency, a particular Y-chromosome type termed the "Cohen modal haplotype," which is known to be characteristic of the paternally inherited Jewish priesthood and is thought, more generally, to be a potential signature haplotype of Judaic origin. The Bantu Y-chromosome samples are predominantly (>80%) YAP+ and include a modal haplotype at high frequency. Assuming a rapid expansion of the eastern Bantu, we used variation in microsatellite alleles in YAP+ sY81-G Bantu Y chromosomes to calculate a rough date, 3,000-5,000 years before the present, for the start of their expansion. (+info)
Resolution of the pathways of poliovirus type 1 transmission during an outbreak.
An outbreak of poliomyelitis with 20 cases occurred in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank from October 1987 to October 1988. The wild type 1 poliovirus associated with the outbreak was most closely related to viruses found in the Nile Delta. The epidemiologic links among patients involved in the outbreak and patients with community-acquired infections during the outbreak were inferred from the evolutionary relationships among isolates of the outbreak virus. Complete VP1 sequences (906 nucleotides) were determined for 12 clinical and 4 sewage isolates. A total of 58 nucleotide differences were found among the 16 isolates; 74% of all substitutions were synonymous third-position transitions. An evolutionary tree, representing both the pathways of VP1 sequence evolution and the inferred chains of virus transmission during the outbreak, was constructed under the assumption that each substitution had occurred only once. The combined epidemiologic and molecular data suggest that a single founder strain was introduced into Israel from the vicinity of Gaza in the fall of 1987. Poliovirus circulation was apparently localized to southern communities during the winter and spread north by the following summer into the Hadera subdistrict of Israel, where it radiated via multiple chains of transmission into other communities in northern Israel and the West Bank. The close sequence matches (>99%) between clinical and sewage isolates from the same communities confirm the utility of environmental sampling as a tool for monitoring wild poliovirus circulation. (+info)