In this issue we would like to thank the ca 500 experts who supported us with peer review in 2016 and we publish a list with their names.
Eurosurveillance, Volume 22, Issue 1, 05 January 2017
Table of Contents
A novel genotype of H5N6 influenza viruses was isolated from migratory birds in South Korea during November 2016. Domestic outbreaks of this virus were associated with die-offs of wild birds near reported poultry cases in Chungbuk province, central South Korea. Genetic analysis and animal studies demonstrated that the Korean H5N6 viruses are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses and that these viruses are novel reassortants of at least three different subtypes (H5N6, H4N2 and H1N1).
Since November 2016, Europe witnesses another wave of incursion of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5) viruses of the Asian origin goose/Guangdong (gs/GD) lineage. Infections with H5 viruses of clade 184.108.40.206b affect wild bird and poultry populations. H5 viruses of clades 2.2, 220.127.116.11c and 18.104.22.168a were detected previously in Europe in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Clades 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199.c are endemic in Egypt and Western Africa, respectively and have caused human fatalities. Evidence exists of their co-circulation in the Middle East. Subtype H5 viruses of low pathogenicity (LPAI) are endemic in migratory wild bird populations. They potentially mutate into highly pathogenic phenotypes following transmission into poultry holdings. However, to date only the gs/GD H5 lineage had an impact on human health. Rapid and specific diagnosis marks the cornerstone for control and eradication of HPAI virus incursions. We present the development and validation of five real-time RT-PCR assays (RT-qPCR) that allow sequencing-independent pathotype and clade-specific distinction of major gs/GD HPAI H5 virus clades and of Eurasian LPAI viruses currently circulating. Together with an influenza A virus-generic RT-qPCR, the assays significantly speed up time-to-diagnosis and reduce reaction times in a OneHealth approach of curbing the spread of gs/GD HPAI viruses.
Resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to azithromycin and ceftriaxone has been increasing in the past years. This is of concern since the combination of these antimicrobials is recommended as the first-line treatment option in most guidelines. To analyse trends in antimicrobial resistance, we retrospectively selected all consultations with a positive N. gonorrhoeae culture at the sexually transmitted infection clinic, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from January 2012 through September 2015. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for azithromycin and ceftriaxone were analysed per year, and determinants associated with decreased susceptibility to azithromycin (MIC > 0.25 mg/L) or ceftriaxone (MIC > 0.032 mg/L) were assessed. Between 2012 and 2015 azithromycin resistance (MIC > 0.5 mg/L) was around 1.2%, the percentage of isolates with intermediate MICs (> 0.25 and ≤ 0.5 mg/L) increased from 3.7% in 2012, to 8.6% in 2015. Determinants associated with decreased azithromycin susceptibility were, for men who have sex with men (MSM), infections diagnosed in the year 2014, two infected sites, and HIV status (HIV; associated with less decreased susceptibility); for heterosexuals this was having ≥ 10 sex partners (in previous six months). Although no ceftriaxone resistance (MIC > 0.125 mg/L) was observed during the study period, the proportion of isolates with decreased ceftriaxone susceptibility increased from 3.6% in 2012, to 8.4% in 2015. Determinants associated with decreased ceftriaxone susceptibility were, for MSM, infections diagnosed in 2014, and pharyngeal infections; and for heterosexuals, infections diagnosed in 2014 or 2015, being of female sex, and having ≥ 10 sex partners. Continued decrease of azithromycin and ceftriaxone susceptibility will threaten future treatment of gonorrhoea. Therefore, new treatment strategies are warranted.
We describe the epidemiological pattern and genetic characteristics of 242 acute dengue infections imported to Europe by returning travellers from 2012 to 2014. The overall geographical pattern of imported dengue (South-east Asia > Americas > western Pacific region > Africa) remained stable compared with 1999 to 2010. We isolated the majority of dengue virus genotypes and epidemic lineages causing outbreaks and epidemics in Asia, America and Africa during the study period. Travellers acted as sentinels for four unusual dengue outbreaks (Madeira, 2012–13; Luanda, 2013; Dar es Salaam, 2014; Tokyo, 2014). We were able to characterise dengue viruses imported from regions where currently no virological surveillance data are available. Up to 36% of travellers infected with dengue while travelling returned during the acute phase of the infection (up to 7 days after symptom onset) or became symptomatic after returning to Europe, and 58% of the patients with acute dengue infection were viraemic when seeking medical care. Epidemiological and virological data from dengue-infected international travellers can add an important layer to global surveillance efforts. A considerable number of dengue-infected travellers are viraemic after arrival back home, which poses a risk for dengue introduction and autochthonous transmission in European regions where suitable mosquito vectors are prevalent.
Eurosurveillance Edition: 05 January 2017
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