For more effective diagnosis of the acute and chronic stages of Schistosoma mansoni infection in humans, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was compared with the Kato-Katz method. A total of 150 stool samples were collected from inpatient and outpatient clinics at the Department of Tropical Medicine, Minia University Hospital, Egypt. Three groups of patients, 50 with acute intestinal schistosomiasis, 70 with chronic intestinal schistosomiasis and 30 normal healthy controls were studied. Stool samples were analyzed by PCR and the Kato-Katz method. The mean number of eggs per gram of feces was 4.6 when estimated by the Kato-Katz method in positive stool samples from acute schistosomiasis cases but only 1.7 in chronic cases. In acute intestinal schistosomiasis, 15 and 45 out of 50 cases were positive by Kato-Katz and PCR, respectively. In the chronic intestinal schistosomiasis cases, 6 and 68 out of 70 cases were positive by the Kato-Katz and PCR methods, respectively. We conclude that PCR appears to be an effective diagnostic technique for S. mansoni infection, especially where a low worm burden exists, such as in chronic cases.
Background: The intestinal coccidian protozoa Cyclospora cayetanensis has emerged as an important cause of parasitic diarrhea among children living in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Cyclospora among the school children of Kathmandu with reference to various associated risk factors.Methodology: A total of five hundred and seven stool samples from students between the age of 3–14 years, studying in 13 different schools in Kathmandu were collected during the study period (May–November, 2014) and processed at the Public Health Research Laboratory, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal. A modified acid fast staining technique (Kinyoun’s method) was used to detect oocyst of Cyclospora from the formal-ether concentrated stool samples.Results: Cyclospora was detected in 3.94% (20/507) of the stool samples examined. The prevalence was found to be highest among the students in the 3–5 year age group i.e. 10.15% (13/128), peaking during the rainy season (June–August). The detection rate was found to be significantly higher (p < 0.05) among children presenting with diarrheal symptoms, household keeping livestock and consumers of raw vegetables/fruits, showing a prevalence of 10.57% (11/104), 10.11% (9/89) and 7.25% (14/193) respectively.Conclusion: Consumption of untreated drinking water, fresh produce (raw fruits/vegetables) without proper washing and the presence of livestock at home were found to be predisposing factors for higher susceptibility of infection due to Cyclospora. This finding confirms the existence of a public-health issue with potentially serious consequences whereby children can be infected through exposure to oocysts in contaminated food and water and get ill as a result.
This work emphasizes the detection of Candidatus “Rickettsia amblyommii” in questing Haemaphysalis juxtakochi and Amblyomma mixtum. From February 2009 to December 2012, questing ticks were collected from the vegetation and leaf-litter of four protected forests and two grassy areas around the Panama Canal basin. DNA was extracted from Amblyomma mixtum, Amblyomma naponense, Amblyomma oblongoguttatum, Amblyomma pecarium, Amblyomma tapirellum, Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, and unidentified immature Amblyomma. Specific primers of citrate synthase gene gltA were used to detect and identify the rickettsiae. Amplicons with the expected band size were purified and sequenced. DNA of C. “R. amblyommii” was found in A. mixtum, H. juxtakochi and Amblyomma immatures. To our knowledge, these finding represent the first report of C. “R. amblyommii” in free-living ticks in the wilderness of Central America.
Context: In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), scientific studies on occupational health are scarce. The present study aims at estimating the level of occupational stress, as well as associated factors, in a textile company. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey among textile workers in DRC. Data (N = 192 subjects) were collected through a self-questionnaire validated for the assessment of stress (Karasek and Siegrist’s scale); supplemented by a medical examination. Frequencies and odds ratios (ORs) were estimated for descriptive analyses. Adjusted ORs were calculated through a logistic regression model to investigate associations between socio-demographic and organisational variables and stress. Results: Our study highlighted a high level of stress among individuals: 28% of them were suffering from stress, according to Karasek, and 22%, when applying Siegrist’s model. A 14%-isostrain was calculated when considering all workers. A statistically significant association was observed between stress and age, seniority and perceived non-adaptation to work, considering both approaches. Furthermore, when job strain was determined according to Karasek, it was related to the worker status, the poor perception of organisation and alcohol consumption, while stress estimated by applying Siegrist’s model showed an association with education level and the occurrence of cardiac symptoms. Conclusion: The present study provides of stress among individuals through both models. Several socio-professional factors are associated with stress, which determines populations at risk. The results revealed that both stress models offer complementary information, thus increasing the probability to model workers’ health more exactly and to make recommendations on prevention and management.
Using a mouse model, we previously demonstrated that subcutaneous infection with the JaTH160 strain of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes significantly higher virulence and stronger virus propagation in the brain compared with that of the JaOArS982 strain. We also showed that the JaTH160 strain, but not JaOArS982, expresses the NS1’ protein and that NS1’ enhances JEV production in avian cells and embryonated chicken eggs. In this study, we examined whether NS1’ expression affects virulence in mice infected with the JaOArS982 and JaTH160 strains using the corresponding recombinant viruses S982-IC and JaTH-IC. Expression of the NS1’ protein in S982-IC diminished the mortality in mice, whereas S982-IC viruses without NS1’ caused 40–60% mortality. However, the viral loads in the brains of these mice were not significantly different despite the dvariation in NS1’ expression. JaTH-IC viruses depleted of the NS1’ protein exhibited high mortality levels, similar to those of the virus expressing NS1’. Previous studies showed that the NS1’ protein plays a role in the enhanced virulence of the JEV SA14 strain in mice. However, our current data suggest that NS1’ protein expression in S982-IC reduces, rather than enhances, the mortality in mice. Thus, the effect of NS1’ on pathogenicity in vivo may vary among virus strains. Our data also suggest that the reduced mortality resulting from NS1’ expression in S982-IC is not simply due to viral replication in the brains. Further investigation is needed to uncover the mechanism by which NS1’ affects pathogenicity in JEV-infected animals.
In Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), the mortality rate among children under 5 years of age is high (131 per 1000 live births in 2003), partly as a consequence of poor basic services provided by district hospitals. A simplified management tool, “Ten MR (Minimum Requirement)”, was developed in Lao PDR. The tool assured the quality of health services including the processes of planning, implementing, self-monitoring, supervision, reporting and evaluation. The tool focused on ten basic services, integrating stakeholders from district hospitals and governing agencies. Each district hospital develops feasible annual activities, assigning responsibility to people based on a consensus between hospital staff and local governing agencies. Hospitals can self-monitor their activities on a monthly basis. Supervisory visits to district hospitals by local governing agencies improved activities and communication between staff. Visualization of progress promoted the sharing of achievements between staff and highlighted activities in need of more work. In 2004, district hospitals in Vientiane and Oudomxay provinces initiated the application of the tool. These district hospitals included primary care hospitals for outpatients, emergency care and in-patients, with a capacity of 10–20 beds, providing care for a population of between 30,000 and 80,000 people. The Ministry of Health recognized the effectiveness of Ten MR and implemented the expansion of the tool to all district hospitals in Lao PDR from 2011. Ten MR benefits district hospitals and governing agencies. Ten MR focuses on the daily routine work, enhancing team work and communication among all stakeholders.
For many years, Japan has been silent on the achievements of Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance program including the health improvement of foreign countries. Japan’s contribution to global health communities through G8 process including Hashimoto Initiative is steadfast. On the other hand, in the field activity level, experts involved in ODA have not disclosed their achievements. However, the article by Wada et al., which describes the contents of TEN MR (Minimum Requirement), shed light on Japan’s silent ODA community by disclosing Japan’s achievements in global health by drawing lessons that may be applicable to other countries. Our future challenge in the global health will be how to synthesize actions that reflect the lessons learnt from the field and which show scientific evidence using established methods.
Background/Objective: Fluid, electrolytes and acid base disturbances are responsible for most deaths due to acute diarrhoea. The aim of this study is to describe the point-of-admission serum electrolyte profile of children with dehydration due to acute diarrhoea. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the serum electrolyte levels of 185 children with dehydration due to acute diarrhoea were assessed at the point of admission at the Diarrhoea Treatment and Training Unit of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. The age of the study population ranged from 29 days to 59 months. Results: Out of a total of 185 subjects, 30 (16.2%), 114 (61.6%), and 41 (22.2%) had severe, moderate and mild dehydration, respectively. In addition, hyponatraemic dehydration was the most common type of dehydration, accounting for 60.5% of cases. Metabolic acidosis and hypokalaemia occurred in 59.5% and 44.3% of cases, respectively. Only the serum bicarbonate level was significantly affected by degree of dehydration (p = 0.001). Age of more than 12 months and presence of vomiting were significantly associated with hyponatraemia (p = 0.005 & p = 0.02), while age of less than or equal 12 months and absence of vomiting were associated with metabolic acidosis (p = 0.04 & p = 0.03). Conclusion: The degree of dehydration appears to be a good predictor of the occurrence of metabolic acidosis while age is a risk factor for hyponatraemia and metabolic acidosis.
Dengue fever (DF), one of the most important emerging arboviral diseases, is transmitted through the bite of container breeding mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. A household entomological survey was conducted in Dhaka from August through October 2000 to inspect water-holding containers in indoor, outdoor, and rooftop locations for Aedes larvae. The objective of this study was to determine mosquito productivity of each container type and to identify some risk factors of households infested with Aedes larvae. Of 9,222 households inspected, 1,306 (14.2%) were positive for Aedes larvae. Of 38,777 wet containers examined, 2,272 (5.8%) were infested with Aedes larvae. Containers used to hold water, such as earthen jars, tanks, and drums were the most common containers for larval breeding. Tires in outdoor and rooftop locations of the households were also important for larval breeding. Although present in abundance, buckets were of less importance. Factors such as independent household, presence of a water storage system in the house, and fully/partly shaded outdoors were found to be significantly associated with household infestation of Aedes larvae. Identification and subsequent elimination of the most productive containers in a given area may potentially reduce mosquito density to below a level at which dengue transmission may be halted.
Background: Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, exports many proteins to the surface of the infected red blood cell (iRBC) in order to modify it toward a structure more suitable for parasite development and survival. One such exported protein, SURFIN4.2, from the parasite of human malignant malaria, P. falciparum, was identified in the trypsin-cleaved protein fraction from the iRBC surface, and is thereby inferred to be exposed on the iRBC surface. SURFIN4.2 also localize to Maurer’s clefts—parasite-derived membranous structures established in the RBC cytoplasm and tethered to the RBC membrane—and their role in trafficking suggests that they are a pathway for SURFIN4.2 transport to the iRBC surface. It has not been determined the participation of protein domains and motifs within SURFIN4.2 in transport from Maurer’s clefts to the iRBC surface; and herein we examined if the SURFIN4.2 intracellular region containing tryptophan-rich (WR) domain is required for its exposure on the iRBC surface. Results: We generated two transgenic parasite lines which express modified SURFIN4.2, with or without a part of the intracellular region. Both recombinant SURFIN4.2 proteins were exported to Maurer’s clefts. However, only SURFIN4.2 possessing the intracellular region was efficiently cleaved by surface treatment of iRBC with proteinase K. Conclusions: These results indicate that SURFIN4.2 is exposed on the iRBC surface and that the intracellular region containing WR domain plays a role on the transport from Maurer’s clefts to the iRBC membrane.
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