Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu has struck a poultry farm in Bihar state, India, killing 338 birds, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The report says 4,000 birds are susceptible but does not say whether culling of the remaining birds is planned to stop disease spread. Officials are investigating the source of the virus, adding, “An intensive surveillance campaign has been launched in a 10 km radius zone.” The premises will be disinfected. Bihar state is near India’s borders with Nepal and Bangladesh. The country’s last H5N1 outbreak was in October 2012.
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC). MMWR. 14 December 2012. 61(49):1008–11.
Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6149a3.htm
Excerpt. Quality surveillance is critical to the control and elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). A key strategy for enhancing VPD surveillance, outlined in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Framework for Immunization Monitoring and Surveillance (GFIMS), is to expand and link existing VPD surveillance systems (particularly those developed for polio eradication and measles elimination) to include other priority VPDs. Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, the incidence of polio has decrease by 99% worldwide. A cornerstone of this success is a sensitive surveillance system based on the rapid and timely reporting of all acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases in children aged <15 years, with confirmatory diagnostic testing performed by laboratories that are part of a global network. As countries achieve polio-free status, many have expanded syndromic surveillance to include persons with rash and fever, and have built measles diagnostic capacity in existing polio reference laboratories. Acute meningitis/encephalitis syndrome (AMES) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) are candidates for expanded surveillance because they are most often caused by VPDs of public health importance for which confirmatory laboratory tests exist. Vaccine-preventable cases of encephalitis include approximately 68,000 Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases, resulting in 13,000–20,000 deaths each year in Asia. Moreover, although bacterial meningitis incidence in Asia is not as well-documented, pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis outbreaks have been reported in Bangladesh and China, and the incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis in children aged <5 years in India has been estimated to be 7.1 per 100,000 population, similar to that in European countries before the introduction of vaccine. This report describes a prototype for expanding existing polio and measles surveillance networks in Bangladesh, China, and India to include surveillance for viral and bacterial vaccine-preventable causes of AMES and AES and presents data from 2006–2008.
In a major cause for concern, a new strain of cholera bacteria resistant to third generation antibiotics has been found to be circulating in India. This cholera bacterial strain contains two super bug genes including the notorious New Delhi Metallo beta-lactamase-1 (blaNDM-1). The other super bug gene is plasmid-mediated beta-lactamase-1 (blaDHA-1). Thanks to these two super bug genes, the new cholera bacterial strain (O1 El Tor Ogawa) has developed resistance to a majority of known antibiotics.
The blaNDM-1, discovered a couple of years ago from hospitals in New Delhi, created ripples in the health sector worldwide. The gene was then found in Escherichia coli strains. This is the first time that doctors have found the super bug gene blaNDM-1 in the cholera bacteria Vibrio cholerae.
A team of doctors led by Dr. Jharna Mandal from Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer), Puducherry, isolated the cholera germ strain from the stool of a two-year-old patient. It reported the findings in the journal of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA.
“Vibrio cholerae have developed enormous capabilities to combat antimicrobial drug effects. It possesses efflux pumps that act on multiple classes of antimicrobial drugs and elaborates enzymes that can nullify the impact of complex antimicrobial drugs,” the team said.
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