Infections by virulent strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus are frequently reported in Southeast Asia. This is due to the frequent seafood contamination by virulent strains. In this study conducted from 2008 to 2011, seafood like fish, shrimp, squid, crab, and molluscan shellfish were purchased from provinces in Thailand and three Southeast Asian countries and examined for the prevalence of three genetic markers of V. parahaemolyticus (species-specific gene: toxR gene, virulence genes: tdh and trh genes). An enrichment culture of seafood was examined for these markers using PCR methods. Molluscan shellfish showed a high frequency of contamination in Thailand. The shellfish harvested from the Gulf of Thailand were significantly more contaminated with virulence genes than those from the Andaman Sea. The seafood purchased from three Southeast Asian countries was positive for the three markers of V. parahaemolytcus at differing frequencies. The virulence markers (tdh and trh markers) were frequently detected in molluscan shellfish from Vietnam (17.9 and 8.0%, respectively), Malaysia (11.1 and 16.7%), and Indonesia (9.1 and 13.6%). These data suggest that the molluscan shellfish sold in Southeast Asian markets are highly contaminated with virulent strains of V. parahaemolyticus.
Dengue is an emerging disease in Nepal and was first observed as an outbreak in nine lowland districts in 2006. In 2010, however, a large epidemic of dengue occurred with 4,529 suspected and 917 serologically-confirmed cases and five deaths reported in government hospitals in Nepal. The collection of demographic information was performed along with an entomological survey and clinical evaluation of the patients. A total of 280 serum samples were collected from suspected dengue patients. These samples were subjected to routine laboratory investigations and IgM-capture ELISA for dengue serological identification, and 160 acute serum samples were used for virus isolation, RT-PCR, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The results showed that affected patients were predominately adults, and that 10% of the cases were classified as dengue haemorrhagic fever/ dengue shock syndrome. The genetic characterization of dengue viruses isolated from patients in four major outbreak areas of Nepal suggests that the DENV-1 strain was responsible for the 2010 epidemic. Entomological studies identified Aedes aegypti in all epidemic areas. All viruses belonged to a monophyletic single clade which is phylogenetically close to Indian viruses. The dengue epidemic started in the lowlands and expanded to the highland areas. To our knowledge, this is the first dengue isolation and genetic characterization reported from Nepal.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the actual conditions of nosocomial infection control in Kathmandu City, Nepal as a basis for the possible contribution to its improvement. The survey was conducted at 17 hospitals and the methods included a questionnaire, site visits and interviews. Nine hospitals had manuals on nosocomial infection control, and seven had an infection control committee (ICC). The number of hospitals that met the required amount of personal protective equipment preparation was as follows: gowns (13), gloves (13), surgical masks (12). Six hospitals had carried out in-service training over the past one year, but seven hospitals responded that no staff had been trained. Eight hospitals were conducting surveillance based on the results of bacteriological testing. The major problems included inadequate management of ICC, insufficient training opportunities for hospital staff, and lack of essential equipment. Moreover, increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics was recognized as a growing issue. In comparison with the results conducted in 2003 targeting five governmental hospitals, a steady improvement was observed, but further improvements are needed in terms of the provision of high quality medical care. Particularly, dissemination of appropriate manuals, enhancement of basic techniques, and strengthening of the infection control system should be given priority.
Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea among children worldwide. Thus, the World Health Organization recommended including rotavirus vaccines in national immunization programs. One concern about rotavirus vaccine, however, is a possible association with intussusception. Thus, it is crucial to know the baseline incidence of intussusception in the first year of life. A study conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam showed that the incidence of intussusception was the highest in the world. This retrospective cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the incidence of intussusception among children <5 years of age in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Hospital charts between 2009 and 2011 were reviewed in Khanh Hoa Provincial General Hospital where virtually all cases of intussusception occurring in the city were assumed to have been encountered. The incidence of intussusception among children <1 year of age was 296 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 225–382), and that among children <5 years of age was 196 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI: 169–226), confirming the high incidence of intussusception in Vietnam. Nevertheless, there was no intussusception in the first three months of life. We therefore recommend that the first dose of any rotavirus vaccine be administered to infants between 6 and 12 weeks of age.
Rotavirus B (RVB) in the genus Rotavirus of the family Reoviridae is known to be a cause of acute gastroenteritis among children and adults in parts of Asia including China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. In a 15-month surveillance programme between March 2007 and May 2008, 3,080 stool specimens were collected from children and adults with acute gastroenteritis in an infectious disease hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal. In 25 (0.8%) specimens RVB was detected, for the first time in Nepal, by the use of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by confirmation with reverse-transcription PCR and sequencing. The strains detected in this study had very similar electropherotypes, and their VP7 sequences were almost identical and phylogenetically belonged to the Indo-Bangladeshi lineage which was distinct from the Chinese lineage. Thus, this study showed the circulation of RVB strains belonging to the Indo-Bangladeshi lineage in a broader region than previously documented, suggesting that this phylogenetic divide corresponded to the geographic divide created by the Himalayan Mountains. Further studies may be warranted to identify and characterize the RVB strains in northern Vietnam which is adjacent to southern China with a long and less mountainous border.
In 2013, the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) will be hosted by the Japanese government. TICAD, which has been held every five years, has played a catalytic role in African policy dialogue and a leading role in promoting the human security approach (HSA). We review the development of the HSA in the TICAD dialogue on health agendas and recommend TICAD’s role in the integration of the HSA beyond the 2015 agenda. While health was not the main agenda in TICAD I and II, the importance of primary health care, and the development of regional health systems was noted in TICAD III. In 2008, when Japan hosted both the G8 summit and TICAD IV, the Takemi Working Group developed strong momentum for health in Africa. Their policy dialogues on global health in Sub-Saharan Africa incubated several recommendations highlighting HSA and health system strengthening (HSS). HSA is relevant to HSS because it focuses on individuals and communities. It has two mutually reinforcing strategies, a top-down approach by central or local governments (protection) and a bottom-up approach by individuals and communities (empowerment). The “Yokohama Action Plan,” which promotes HSA was welcomed by the TICAD IV member countries. Universal health coverage (UHC) is a major candidate for the post-2015 agenda recommended by the World Health Organization. We expect UHC to provide a more balanced approach between specific disease focus and system-based solutions. Japan’s global health policy is coherent with HSA because human security can be the basis of UHC-compatible HSS.