Antibiotic resistance conferred by a conjugative plasmid and a class I integron in Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated in Albania and Italy.
Multidrug-resistant Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated during the 1994 outbreak of cholera in Albania and Italy were characterized for the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance. All strains were found to be resistant to tetracycline, streptomycin, spectinomycin, trimethoprim, sulfathiazole, and the vibriostatic compound O/129 (2,4-diamino-6,7-diisopropylteridine). Resistance genes were self-transferable by a conjugative plasmid of about 60 MDa, with the exception of spectinomycin resistance, which was conferred by the aadA1 gene cassette located in the bacterial chromosome within a class 1 integron. The resistance to trimethoprim and O/129 was conferred by the dfrA1 gene, which was present on the plasmid. Although the dfrA1 gene is known to be borne on an integron cassette, class 1, 2, or 3 intI genes were not detected as part of the plasmid DNA from the strains studied. (+info)
Genomic characterization of human and environmental polioviruses isolated in Albania.
Between April and December 1996, a serious outbreak of poliomyelitis occurred in Albania; almost 140 subjects were involved, and the episode presented an unusually high mortality rate (12%). During the outbreak, water samples from the Lana River in Tirana, Albania, and stool samples from two cases of paralytic poliomyelitis were collected and analyzed for the presence of polioviruses. Six polioviruses were isolated from the environmental and human samples, according to standard methods. All the samples were characterized by partial genomic sequencing of 330 bases across the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) (nucleotide positions 200 to 530) and of 300 bases across the VP1 region (nucleotide positions 2474 to 2774). Comparison of these sequences with those present in data banks permitted the identification of environmental isolates Lana A and Lana B as, respectively, a Sabin-like type 2 poliovirus and an intertypic recombinant poliovirus (Sabin-like type 2/wild type 1), both bearing a G instead of an A at nucleotide position 481. The two other environmental polioviruses were similar to the isolates from the paralytic cases. They were characterized by a peculiar 5'-UTR and by a VP1 region showing 98% homology with the Albanian epidemic type 1 isolates reported by other authors. This study confirms the environmental circulation in Albania of recombinant poliovirus strains, likely sustained by a massive vaccination effort and by the presence in the environment of a type 1 poliovirus, as isolated from the Lana River in Tirana about 2 months before the first case of symptomatic acute flaccid paralysis was reported in this town. (+info)
Maternal and paternal lineages in Albania and the genetic structure of Indo-European populations.
Mitochondrial DNA HV1 sequences and Y chromosome haplotypes (DYS19 STR and YAP) were characterised in an Albanian sample and compared with those of several other Indo-European populations from the European continent. No significant difference was observed between Albanians and most other Europeans, despite the fact that Albanians are clearly different from all other Indo-Europeans linguistically. We observe a general lack of genetic structure among Indo-European populations for both maternal and paternal polymorphisms, as well as low levels of correlation between linguistics and genetics, even though slightly more significant for the Y chromosome than for mtDNA. Altogether, our results show that the linguistic structure of continental Indo-European populations is not reflected in the variability of the mitochondrial and Y chromosome markers. This discrepancy could be due to very recent differentiation of Indo-European populations in Europe and/or substantial amounts of gene flow among these populations. (+info)
HBV, HCV and HDV infections in Albanian refugees in Southern Italy (Apulia region).
The seroprevalence of hepatitis B, C and D markers was assessed in a sample of 670 Albanian refugees in Southern Italy in 1997. The mean age was 25 years (S.D. = 12.3). Of study subjects 62.1% (95% CI: 58.4-65.7) were positive for anti-HBc antibodies and 13.6% (95% CI: 10.9-16.1) for HBsAg. The prevalence of anti-HBs was 47.6% (95% CI: 43.8-51.3). Among HBsAg carriers the prevalence of HBeAg was 7.7% (95% CI: 2.2-13.1). The highest carrier rate for HBsAg (25.5%; 95% CI: 16.7-34.3) was found in the age group 21-25 years. A relevant finding was a prevalence of HBsAg of 8.1% in children 10 years and under. The prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was 0.3% (95% CI: 0.0-0.7) while only one of the HBsAg carriers was positive for anti-HDV (1.1%, 95% CI: 0-3.2). In Albania, hepatitis B infection represents a public health priority that should be addressed by a universal vaccination campaign. (+info)
Appendicectomies in Albanians in Greece: outcomes in a highly mobile immigrant patient population.
BACKGROUND: Albanian immigrants in Greece comprise a highly mobile population with unknown health care profile. We aimed to assess whether these immigrants were more or less likely to undergo laparotomy for suspected appendicitis with negative findings (negative appendicectomy), by performing a controlled study with individual (1:4) matching. We used data from 6 hospitals in the Greek prefecture of Epirus that is bordering Albania. RESULTS: Among a total of 2027 non-incidental appendicectomies for suspected appendicitis performed in 1994-1999, 30 patients with Albanian names were matched (for age, sex, time of operation and hospital) to 120 patients with Greek names. The odds for a negative appendicectomy were 3.4-fold higher (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-9.31, p = 0.02) in Albanian immigrants than in matched Greek-name subjects. The difference was most prominent in men (odds ratio 20.0, 95% CI, 1.41-285, p = 0.02) while it was not formally significant in women (odds ratio 1.56, 95% CI, 0.44-5.48). The odds for perforation were 1.25-fold higher in Albanian-name immigrants than in Greek-name patients (95% CI 0.44- 3.57). CONCLUSIONS: Albanian immigrants in Greece are at high risk for negative appendicectomies. Socioeconomic, cultural and language parameters underlying health care inequalities in highly mobile immigrant populations need better study. (+info)
A population-based assessment of human rights abuses committed against ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed patterns of displacement and human rights abuses among Kosovar refugees in Macedonia and Albania. METHODS: Between April 19 and May 3, 1999, 1180 ethnic Albanian refugees living in 31 refugee camps and collective centers in Macedonia and Albania were interviewed. RESULTS: The majority (68%) of participants reported that their families were directly expelled from their homes by Serb forces. Overall, 50% of participants saw Serb police or soldiers burning the houses of others, 16% saw Serb police or soldiers burn their own home, and 14% witnessed Serb police or soldiers killing someone. Large percentages of participants saw destroyed mosques, schools, or medical facilities. Thirty-one percent of respondents reported human rights abuses committed against their household members, including beatings, killings, torture, forced separation and disappearances, gunshot wounds, and sexual assault. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings confirm that Serb forces engaged in a systematic and brutal campaign to forcibly expel the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo. In the course of these mass deportations, Serb forces committed widespread abuses of human rights against ethnic Albanians. (+info)
Medical education in Albania: current situation and perspective, with reference to primary care.
A radical primary health care-oriented reform of the medical services in Albania is now under way, calling for adequate revision in medical education. The reform has started in 1994. In January 1997, the Department of Family Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tirana, was established for the development of general practice and family medicine, and with it a new era in medical education in Albania has begun. Mutual agreements for international collaborations are being realized, modern medical textbooks are being published, and the importance of continuous medical education is gaining a deserved appreciation. Here we describe medical education in Albania, including undergraduate education, vocational training, and continuing professional development. The emphasis is given on primary care, with some suggestions for concrete actions that would improve the current situation. A brief descriptive account is given of the ongoing Albanian medical education reform, primarily in the field of primary health care, which assumes its most interesting global aspects and at the same time reflects the unique demands of the country. (+info)
Management of refugee crisis in Albania during the 1999 Kosovo conflict.
The report presents key data on Kosovo refugees in Albania during the 1999 crisis in Kosovo. In a three-month period, from March through May 1999, Albania received, accommodated, and cared for 479,223 officially registered refugees from Kosovo (FR Yugoslavia). Many foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations helped the Albanian government during the crisis. The Government cooperated with the organizations through Government Commission, which appointed a Special Coordinator to the Emergency Management Group that coordinated factors and actions in the field. A Health Desk was established by the Emergency Management Group to provide an overview of the health impact of the crisis upon refugees and domestic Albanian population. There were no serious outbreaks of infectious diseases, but the Health Desk registered 2,165 cases of diarrhea without and 14 cases of diarrhea with blood in the stool. Scabies and lice affected around 4% of the refugees. After the refugees returned to Kosovo, Emergency Management Group continued to coordinate the work on the rehabilitation of the refugee-affected areas. In this phase, humanitarian emergency work served as a bridge between emergency activities and normal development. (+info)