Tularemia investigation links Arizona’s woman’s illness to dogAn investigation into a 73-year-old Arizona woman’s death related to a Francisella tularensis infection (tularemia) in June 2016 revealed that she probably contracted the bacterium, classified by federal health officials as a tier 1 select agent, from her pet dog. Researchers from Arizona and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported their findings yesterday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).The woman had pulmonary sarcoidosis and initially sought treatment for onset of fever, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and diarrhea, and her doctors suspected colitis and advised her to stop taking amoxicillin that had been prescribed for a dental infection. Two days later she was hospitalized for breathing problems and confusion, and chest x-rays found pneumonia and an effusion.Her stool tested positive for Clostridium difficile, and she was treated with metronidazole and vancomycin. The woman’s condition continued to deteriorate, and she died 3 days later. The medical team didn’t suspect F tularensis until blood culture confirmed it about a week after she died.A probe into the source of her illness found that she lived in a semirural area but did not take part in outdoor activities. She had recently traveled to Hawaii, but postmortem examination found no bites or other physical signs of the disease.The patient’s dog has been sick in late May after it had a rabbit carcass in its mouth. A sample of the dog’s blood was positive for F tularensis, and the woman’s property was found to have numerous rabbits, and a squirrel found dead tested positive for F tularensis, with a type A.II strain that matched the human sample.The authors said the patient probably inhaled F tularensis during close contact with her dog and that human illnesses from dogs have been documented before. They concluded that the pulmonary sarcoidosis may have contributed to illness severity, and the woman’s C diff infection may have worsened the tularemia infection. They concluded that the nonspecific nature of tularemia infections makes diagnosis difficult and assessing animal exposures and related contact might help focus clinical suspicions of the disease.Aug 24 MMWR report Microbes living at lower densities develop resistance faster, study saysUK researchers have discovered that microbes living at low populations densities—dubbed “lonely” microbes—have higher rates of mutations that cause antibiotic resistance, according to their study yesterday in PLoS Biology.A team of scientists from the universities of Manchester, Keele, and Middlesex previously had found that “lonely” Escherichia coli bacteria were nearly 10 times as likely to mutate to resist antibiotics as those living in dense populations. The new study expands their research to 26 microbial species, including viruses, and involved 70 years of data and nearly 500 mutation measurements.They found that both in the literature and in their own lab experiments the relationship held across the microbes, with higher population densities leading to lower rates of resistance mutations and lower densities leading to the converse. The authors call their finding “density-associated mutation-rate plasticity” (DAMP).Lead author Rok Krasovec, PhD, said in a University of Manchester news release, “What’s exciting about DAMP is that it requires protein molecules that do the same thing in very different microbes, meaning that we can start to understand why mutation rates vary like this. This means that our results could be the first step towards manipulating microbial DAMP clinically as a way to slow the evolution of antibiotic resistance.”Aug 24 PLoS Biol study Aug 24 University of Manchester news release Study probes gap in kindergartner measles vaccinationAccording to CDC research published yesterday in Vaccine, 90.9% of incoming US kindergartners have received the recommended two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV).The highest achievable coverage for the vaccine is 98.6%, meaning there’s a 7.7% vaccination gap. All vaccination coverage estimates were based on provider-reported histories.To analyze the gap, the researchers conducted a national survey of 1,465 parents of children ages 5 to 7 years throughout the winter of 2013 and 2014 to understand vaccine exemptions. Of the undervaccinated children, they found that 2.7% were attributable to a requested vaccine exemption. Among undervaccinated children whose parents did not request an exemption, 41.6% had a missed opportunity or a skipped dose of a MCV.Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia require two doses of MCV by kindergarten entry. But often, the authors say, schools fail to fully implement these vaccination laws. Doing so would help close the MCV coverage gap, they wrote.Aug 24 Vaccine study
Kolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has again nabbed two persons and seized a huge quantity of Amphetamines, commonly known as ‘Yaba’, in tablet form on Saturday.Since the last 10 days, a huge quantity of narcotics has been seized, including ‘Yaba’ tablets worth several crores, which is alarming according to the police. According to STF officials, on Saturday morning police came to know from their sources that two Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) racketeers were hiding in Topsia area. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBased on the information, the anti-FICN team of STF went to Topsia and waited for a car as per the tip. At around 8 am, the source pointed towards an SUV coming towards the Hindu burial ground on Topsia Road (South). As soon as the source identified the car, police blocked the SUV’s way with their car and forced the passengers of the car to get down. During search, 70 packets containing approximately 1.5 lakh ‘Yaba’ tablets were found concealed under the seats of the car. The duo along with the car was detained and taken to STF police station in Lalbazar. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDuring interrogation, the accused duo stated that they had procured the ‘Yaba’ from North East and was about to hand them over to carriers in order to smuggle it out to Bangladesh. In the afternoon, the duo identified as Faruk Ahmed and Musaddik Ali alias Chhotu of Kamrup in Assam, was arrested and the tablets were seized. According to police, the seized ‘Yaba’ tablets are worth Rs 60 lakh approximately in the illegal market. Sources informed that during the last few days, police have arrested several persons with narcotics such as Yaba, charas and phensedyl. Among them, a few persons are known to be FICN racketeers. It is suspected that since police are keeping a strict vigil on FICN smuggling, they are now shifting to narcotics smuggling. However this also a headache for the police as apart from smuggling of narcotics to Bangladesh, racketeers have already developed a secret market in the city as well, which is alarming.