#EIDs: Focus on #infection #control #issues for novel #coronaviruses (#SARS-CoV & #MERS-CoV), #VHF (#Lassa and #Ebola), and HPAI viruses, #H5N1 & #H7N9 (SD, abstract)

[Source: Science Direct, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

American Journal of Infection Control / Volume 44, Issue 5, Supplement, 2 May 2016, Pages e91–e100  / Disinfection, Sterilization and Antisepsis: Principles, Practices, Current Issues, New Research and New Technologies / Major article

Emerging infectious diseases: Focus on infection control issues for novel coronaviruses (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoV and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-CoV), hemorrhagic fever viruses (Lassa and Ebola), and highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, A(H5N1) and A(H7N9)

David J. Weber, MD, MPHa, b,  William A. Rutala, PhD, MPHa, b, William A. Fischer, MDc, Hajime Kanamori, MD, PhD, MPHa, b, Emily E. Sickbert-Bennett, PhD, MSa, b

a Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Health Care, Chapel Hill, NC; b Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC; c Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC

Available online 28 April 2016 / doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2015.11.018



Over the past several decades, we have witnessed the emergence of many new infectious agents, some of which are major public threats. New and emerging infectious diseases which are both transmissible from patient-to-patient and virulent with a high mortality include novel coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CV), hemorrhagic fever viruses (Lassa, Ebola), and highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses, A(H5N1) and A(H7N9). All healthcare facilities need to have policies and plans in place for early identification of patients with a highly communicable diseases which are highly virulent, ability to immediately isolate such patients, and provide proper management (e.g., training and availability of personal protective equipment) to prevent transmission to healthcare personnel, other patients and visitors to the healthcare facility.

Key Words: Emerging infectious diseases; health care–associated infections; infection control; occupational health; severe acute respiratory disease; Middle East respiratory syndrome; Lassa fever; Ebola viral disease; novel influenza viruses

Funding/support: Supported by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (U54CK000164).

Publication of this article was supported by an educational grant from Clorox Healthcare, Sealed Air, and Tru-D. Content of this article was initiated and written by the authors with no input or financial support to the authors from Clorox Healthcare, Sealed Air, or Tru-D.

Conflicts of Interest: None to report.

Address correspondence to David J. Weber, MD, MPH, 2163 Bioinformatics, CB #7030, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7030. (D.J. Weber).

© 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Lassa Fever; Ebola; H7N9; H5N1; Avian Influenza; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV.


Use of post-exposure #prophylaxis after occupational #exposure to #Zaire #ebolavirus (Clin Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Use of post-exposure prophylaxis after occupational exposure to Zaire ebolavirus

Karen K. Wong1, Richard T. Davey Jr.2, Angela L. Hewlett3, Colleen S. Kraft4, Aneesh K. Mehta4, Mark J. Mulligan4, Allison Beck4, William Dorman5, Christopher J. Kratochvil3, Lilin Lai4, Tara N. Palmore2, Susan Rogers4, Philip W. Smith3, Anthony F. Suffredini6, Mark Wolcott5, Ute Ströher1, and Timothy M. Uyeki1

Author Affiliations: 1U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States; 2National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States; 3University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; 4Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States; 5US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Frederick, Maryland, United States; 6Critical Care Medicine Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Corresponding author: Karen K. Wong, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS C-09, Atlanta, GA 30329; kwong@cdc.gov

Alternate corresponding author: Timothy M. Uyeki, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS A-20, Atlanta, GA 30329; tuyeki@cdc.gov



From September 2014–April 2015, six persons who had occupational exposures to Zaire ebolavirus in West Africa received investigational agents rVSV-ZEBOV or TKM-100802 for post-exposure prophylaxis and were monitored in the U.S. All patients experienced self-limited symptoms after PEP; none developed Ebola virus disease.

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.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola; Monoclonal Antibodies; Vaccines.


#Production of Potent Fully #Human #Polyclonal #Antibodies against #Ebola #Zaire Virus in Transchromosomal #Cattle (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | Open

Production of Potent Fully Human Polyclonal Antibodies against Ebola Zaire Virus in Transchromosomal Cattle

John M. Dye, Hua Wu, Jay W. Hooper, Surender Khurana, Ana I. Kuehne, Elizabeth M. Coyle, Ramon A. Ortiz, Sandra Fuentes, Andrew S. Herbert, Hana Golding, Russell A. Bakken, Jennifer M. Brannan, Steve A. Kwilas, Eddie J. Sullivan, Thomas C. Luke, Gale Smith, Gregory Glenn, Wenfang Li, Ling Ye, Chinglai Yang, Richard W. Compans, Ralph A. Tripp & Jin-an Jiao

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 24897 (2016) / doi:10.1038/srep24897

Received: 01 October 2015 – Accepted: 07 April 2016 – Published online: 25 April 2016



Polyclonal antibodies, derived from humans or hyperimmunized animals, have been used prophylactically or therapeutically as countermeasures for a variety of infectious diseases. SAB Biotherapeutics has successfully developed a transchromosomic (Tc) bovine platform technology that can produce fully human immunoglobulins rapidly, and in substantial quantities, against a variety of disease targets. In this study, two Tc bovines expressing high levels of fully human IgG were hyperimmunized with a recombinant glycoprotein (GP) vaccine consisting of the 2014 Ebola virus (EBOV) Makona isolate. Serum collected from these hyperimmunized Tc bovines contained high titers of human IgG against EBOV GP as determined by GP specific ELISA, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and virus neutralization assays. Fully human polyclonal antibodies against EBOV were purified and evaluated in a mouse challenge model using mouse adapted Ebola virus (maEBOV). Intraperitoneal administration of the purified anti-EBOV IgG (100 mg/kg) to BALB/c mice one day after lethal challenge with maEBOV resulted in 90% protection; whereas 100% of the control animals succumbed. The results show that hyperimmunization of Tc bovines with EBOV GP can elicit protective and potent neutralizing fully human IgG antibodies rapidly and in commercially viable quantities.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola; Ebola-Makona; Serotherapy.


Integrated #sequence and #immunology #filovirus #database at Los Alamos (Database (Oxford), abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Database (Oxford). 2016 Apr 21;2016. pii: baw047. doi: 10.1093/database/baw047. Print 2016.

Integrated sequence and immunology filovirus database at Los Alamos.

Yusim K1, Yoon H2, Foley B2, Feng S2, Macke J2, Dimitrijevic M2, Abfalterer W2, Szinger J2, Fischer W2, Kuiken C2, Korber B2.

Author information: 1Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA kyusim@lanl.gov. 2Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA.



The Ebola outbreak of 2013-15 infected more than 28 000 people and claimed more lives than all previous filovirus outbreaks combined. Governmental agencies, clinical teams, and the world scientific community pulled together in a multifaceted response ranging from prevention and disease control, to evaluating vaccines and therapeutics in human trials. As this epidemic is finally coming to a close, refocusing on long-term prevention strategies becomes paramount. Given the very real threat of future filovirus outbreaks, and the inherent uncertainty of the next outbreak virus and geographic location, it is prudent to consider the extent and implications of known natural diversity in advancing vaccines and therapeutic approaches. To facilitate such consideration, we have updated and enhanced the content of the filovirus portion of Los Alamos Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses Database. We have integrated and performed baseline analysis of all family ITALIC! Filoviridaesequences deposited into GenBank, with associated immune response data, and metadata, and we have added new computational tools with web-interfaces to assist users with analysis. Here, we (i) describe the main features of updated database, (ii) provide integrated views and some basic analyses summarizing evolutionary patterns as they relate to geo-temporal data captured in the database and (iii) highlight the most conserved regions in the proteome that may be useful for a T cell vaccine strategy.Database URL:www.hfv.lanl.gov.

© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

PMID: 27103629 [PubMed – in process]

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola.


#Outbreak or #Epidemic? How #Obama’s #Language Choice Transformed the #Ebola Outbreak Into an Epidemic (Disaster Med Public Health Prep., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2016 Apr 21:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]

Outbreak or Epidemic? How Obama’s Language Choice Transformed the Ebola Outbreak Into an Epidemic.

Gesser-Edelsburg A1, Shir-Raz Y1, Bar-Lev OS2, James JJ3, Green MS1.

Author information: 11School of Public Health,University of Haifa,Haifa,Israel. 22Department of Communication,University of Haifa,Haifa,Israel. 33Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health,Bethesda,Maryland.




Our aim was to examine in what terms leading newspapers’ online sites described the current Ebola crisis.


We employed a quantitative content analysis of terms attributed to Ebola. We found and analyzed 582 articles published between March 23 and September 30, 2014, on the online websites of 3 newspapers: The New York Times, Daily Mail, and Ynet. Our theoretical framework drew from the fields of health communication and emerging infectious disease communication, including such concepts as framing media literacy, risk signatures, and mental models.


We found that outbreak and epidemic were used interchangeably in the articles. From September 16, 2014, onward, epidemic predominated, corresponding to when President Barack Obama explicitly referred to Ebola as an epidemic. Prior to Obama’s speech, 86.8% of the articles (323) used the term outbreak and only 8.6% (32) used the term epidemic. Subsequently, both terms were used almost the same amount: 53.8% of the articles (113) used the term outbreak and 53.3% (112) used the term epidemic.


Effective communication is crucial during public health emergencies such as Ebola, because language framing affects the decision-making process of social judgments and actions. The choice of one term (outbreak) over another (epidemic) can create different conceptualizations of the disease, thereby influencing the risk signature. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 5).

KEYWORDS: EID communication; Ebola; content analysis; framing affect; outbreak and epidemic

PMID: 27098568 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola; Pandemic Preparedness.


Circulating #microRNA profiles of #Ebola #virus #infection (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 21;6:24496. doi: 10.1038/srep24496.

Circulating microRNA profiles of Ebola virus infection.

Duy J1, Koehler JW1, Honko AN2, Schoepp RJ1, Wauquier N3, Gonzalez JP4, Pitt ML2, Mucker EM2, Johnson JC2, O’Hearn A1, Bangura J3, Coomber M3, Minogue TD1.

Author information: 1Diagnostic Systems Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD, USA. 2Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD, USA. 3Metabiota, Kenema, Sierra Leone. 4Metabiota, Washington, DC, USA.



Early detection of Ebola virus (EBOV) infection is essential to halting transmission and adjudicating appropriate treatment. However, current methods rely on viral identification, and this approach can misdiagnose presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. In contrast, disease-driven alterations in the host transcriptome can be exploited for pathogen-specific diagnostic biomarkers. Here, we present for the first time EBOV-induced changes in circulating miRNA populations of nonhuman primates (NHPs) and humans. We retrospectively profiled longitudinally-collected plasma samples from rhesus macaques challenged via intramuscular and aerosol routes and found 36 miRNAs differentially present in both groups. Comparison of miRNA abundances to viral loads uncovered 15 highly correlated miRNAs common to EBOV-infected NHPs and humans. As proof of principle, we developed an eight-miRNA classifier that correctly categorized infection status in 64/74 (86%) human and NHP samples. The classifier identified acute infections in 27/29 (93.1%) samples and in 6/12 (50%) presymptomatic NHPs. These findings showed applicability of NHP-derived miRNAs to a human cohort, and with additional research the resulting classifiers could impact the current capability to diagnose presymptomatic and asymptomatic EBOV infections.

PMID: 27098369 [PubMed – in process]

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola.


#Public #health #structures #attendance during the #Ebola #outbreak in Guéckédou, #Guinea (Epidemiol Infect., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Epidemiol Infect. 2016 Apr 18:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Public health structures attendance during the Ebola outbreak in Guéckédou, Guinea.

Moisan F1, Traore A2, Zoumanigui D2, Feindouno JY3, Sagno AM3, Mollet T4, Bruyand M1.

Author information: 1French Institute for Public Health Surveillance,Saint-Maurice,France. 2Prefectural Health Direction of Guéckédou,Guinea.  3WHO Guinea. 4European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC),Stockholm,Sweden.



The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa may affect healthcare attendance. We describe, in the Guinean prefecture of Guéckédou, trends in attendance of public healthcare structures and the main reported diagnoses over the year following the EVD outbreak notification (March 2014). Monthly numbers of visits and main diagnoses such as malaria, schistosomiasis and measles reported by Guéckédou health centres and health posts were described from January 2012 to March 2015. The median number of visits was 15 724/month. From 1 April to 30 September 2014 (EVD outbreak peak), 90 947 visits were reported, representing decreases of 4·8% and 7·4% compared to 2013 and 2012, respectively. Following December 2014 (last EVD notification in Guéckédou), visits increased from 12 540 in January to 16 032 in March 2015. Malaria seasonality was observed in 2014 with 22 519 notifications from 1 April to 31 July. No seasonality was observed for intestinal schistosomiasis (median 485 cases/month); however, a peak was notified in March 2014 (824 cases). Over the study period, all measles cases were notified in 2015 (183 cases). Reduction in healthcare attendance in Guéckédou was modest during the EVD outbreak. Enhanced infectious disease surveillance is a challenge in this context, due to the impact of EVD on traditional prevention programmes.

KEYWORDS: Ebola virus; infectious disease epidemiology; surveillance system

PMID: 27086773 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola; Guinea.


#Sequence #analysis of the L #protein of the #Ebola 2014 #outbreak: Insight into conserved regions and mutations (Mol Med Rep., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Mol Med Rep. 2016 Apr 15. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2016.5145. [Epub ahead of print]

Sequence analysis of the L protein of the Ebola 2014 outbreak: Insight into conserved regions and mutations.

Ayub G1, Waheed Y1.

Author information: 1Department of Health Biotechnology, Atta‑ur‑Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.



The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the largest that have occurred; it started in Guinea and spread to Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Phylogenetic analysis of the current virus species indicated that this outbreak is the result of a divergent lineage of the Zaire ebolavirus. The L protein of Ebola virus (EBOV) is the catalytic subunit of the RNA‑dependent RNA polymerase complex, which, with VP35, is key for the replication and transcription of viral RNA. Earlier sequence analysis demonstrated that the L protein of all non‑segmented negative‑sense (NNS) RNA viruses consists of six domains containing conserved functional motifs. The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence of these motifs in 2014 EBOV isolates, highlight their function and how they may contribute to the overall pathogenicity of the isolates. For this purpose, 81 2014 EBOV L protein sequences were aligned with 475 other NNS RNA viruses, including Paramyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of all EBOV outbreak L protein sequences was also performed. Analysis of the amino acid substitutions in the 2014 EBOV outbreak was conducted using sequence analysis. The alignment demonstrated the presence of previously conserved motifs in the 2014 EBOV isolates and novel residues. Notably, all the mutations identified in the 2014 EBOV isolates were tolerant, they were pathogenic with certain examples occurring within previously determined functional conserved motifs, possibly altering viral pathogenicity, replication and virulence. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that all sequences with the exception of the 2014 EBOV sequences were clustered together. The 2014 EBOV outbreak has acquired a great number of mutations, which may explain the reasons behind this unprecedented outbreak. Certain residues critical to the function of the polymerase remain conserved and may be targets for the development of antiviral therapeutic agents.

PMID: 27082438 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola.


#Treatment with #hyperimmune equine #immunoglobulin or immunoglobulin fragments completely protects rodents from #Ebola #virus #infection (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article / Open

Treatment with hyperimmune equine immunoglobulin or immunoglobulin fragments completely protects rodents from Ebola virus infection

Xuexing Zheng, Gary Wong […] Xianzhu Xia

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 24179 (2016) / doi:10.1038/srep24179

Received: 25 October 2015 – Accepted: 21 March 2016 – Published online: 12 April 2016



Recent successes with monoclonal antibody cocktails ZMappTM and MIL77 against Ebola virus (EBOV) infections have reignited interest in antibody-based therapeutics. Since the production process for monoclonal antibodies can be prolonged and costly, alternative treatments should be investigated. We produced purified equine antisera from horses hyperimmunized with EBOV virus-like particles, and tested the post-exposure efficacy of the antisera in a mouse model of infection. BALB/c mice were given up to 2 mg of purified equine antisera per animal, at 30 minutes, 1 or 2 days post-infection (dpi), in which all animals survived. To decrease the possibility of serum sickness, the equine antisera was digested with pepsin to generate F(ab′)2 fragments, with in vitro neutralizing activity comparable to whole immunoglobulin. Full protection was achieved with when treatment was initiated at 1 dpi, but the suboptimal protection observed with the 30 minute and 2 dpi groups demonstrate that in addition to virus neutralization, other Fc-dependent antibody mechanisms may also contribute to survival. Guinea pigs given 20 mg of antisera or F(ab′)2 at or starting at 1 or 2 dpi were also fully protected from EBOV infection. These results justify future efficacy studies for purified equine products in NHPs.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola; Serotherapy.


Neglected #Tropical #Diseases in the #Anthropocene: The Cases of #Zika, #Ebola, and Other #Infections (PLoS Negl Trop Dis., extract)

[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Extract.]

Open Access / Editorial

Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Anthropocene: The Cases of Zika, Ebola, and Other Infections

Peter J. Hotez

PLOS / Published: April 8, 2016 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0004648

Citation: Hotez PJ (2016) Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Anthropocene: The Cases of Zika, Ebola, and Other Infections. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(4): e0004648. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004648

Editor: Scott C. Weaver, University of Texas Medical Branch, UNITED STATES

Published: April 8, 2016

Copyright: © 2016 Peter J. Hotez. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: The author received no specific funding for this work.

Competing interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.


While we advance through a geological epoch that increasingly reflects human intervention on a massive scale, we might expect to see the continued expansion of epidemic neglected tropical diseases, as we have recently seen for Zika and Ebola virus infections.

Emerging evidence indicates that the Holocene, our most recent geological epoch that began at the end of the last ice age almost 12,000 years ago, has undergone some fundamental changes because of human activity. Since the origins of agriculture and deforestation and later accelerating with the industrial revolution, followed by rapid 20th century population growth extending into the nuclear age, our planet has undergone a fundamental and seemingly irreversible geological shift [1]. According to many (but not all) prominent Earth scientists, humans have profoundly altered the planet, thereby ushering in a new and so-called Anthropocene epoch (Fig 1).


Keywords: Research; Zika Virus; Ebola; Emerging Diseases.