Novel Tick-Borne Anaplasma Maybe Transmitted to Human from Infected Goats

A new study from China, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, contends that a novel, tick-borne Anaplasmosis maybe transmitted from infected goats to human beings in contact. The abstract of the study is given below:

Summary

Background

Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma ovis cause human infections. We investigated the potential for human pathogenicity of a newly discovered Anaplasma species infecting goats in China.

Methods

We collected blood samples from patients with a history of tick bite in the preceding 2 months at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital of Heilongjiang Province from May 1, to June 10, 2014, to detect the novel Anaplasma species by PCR. We inoculated positive samples into cell cultures. We characterised the isolated pathogen by morphological and phylogenetic analyses. We tested serum antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay.

Findings

28 (6%) of 477 patients assessed were infected with the novel Anaplasma species according to PCR and sequencing. We isolated the pathogen in vitro from three patients. Phylogenetic analyses of rrs, gltA, groEL, msp2, and msp4 showed that the pathogen was distinct from all known Anaplasmaspecies. We provisionally nominate it “Anaplasma capra”. 22 (92%) of 24 patients with data available had seroconversion or a four-fold increase in antibody titres. All 28 patients developed non-specific febrile manifestations, including fever in 23 (82%), headache in 14 (50%), malaise in 13 (46%), dizziness in nine (32%), myalgia in four (14%), and chills in four (14%). Additionally, ten (36%) of 28 patients had rash or eschar, eight (29%) had lymphadenopathy, eight (29%) had gastrointestinal symptoms, and three (11%) had stiff neck. Five patients were admitted to hospital because of severe disease. Six (35%) of 17 patients with data available had high hepatic aminotransferase concentrations.

Interpretation

The emergence of “A capra” as a cause of human disease suggests that individuals living in or travelling to endemic regions in northern China should take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this novel tick-borne pathogen.

Reference

Li H, Zheng Y-C, Ma L, et al. Human infection with a novel tick-borne_Anaplasma_ species in China: a surveillance study. Lancet InfectiousDiseases. Published Online: 29 March 2015. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(15)70051-4. Available at: LINK

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Bubonic Plague Claims 3 Lives in Zambia

The Times of Zambia reports that three persons have died from suspected bubonic plague in the Nyimba District of the Eastern Province. Reportedly 13 people from the Kavyeni village have been affected by the disease in what seems like an ongoing outbreak.

The neighboring countries of Mozambique and Malawi are also suffering from an outbreak of cholera and typhoid, which have broken out in the Mchinji and Kasungu areas of Malawi and since these areas are in close proximity to Chipata, the health authorities have warned the public to be on high alert for the possibility of these diseases occurring within the nation.

While more information is not available according to this report, it needs to be followed up to confirm the outbreak of bubonic plague and institute control measures as needed.

KFD-Deaths in Goa and Kerala, India

The death of villagers from Goa (Pali village) and Kerala (Ezhupathimoonnu Kattunayakka tribal hamlet) has been attributed to KFD. While the disease transmission is established in Kerala and Karnataka, this is the first report of a fatality from KFD from Goa. The problem with KFD in peri-sylvatic areas seems to be spreading wider.

The CDC Fact Sheet on KFD provides a lot of vital information on this matter.

The case from Kerala seems to belong to the subset of patients (around 10-20%) who experience a biphasic manifestation of KFD. The disease abates after initial symptoms suggestive of a viral hemorrhagic fever which runs its course in two weeks or so. From the third week onward, there is a fresh wave of symptoms, accompanied by neurological manifestations and severe complications, which may even result in death.

Is KFD Spreading to More Indian States?

If this Pune Mirror article is to be believed, then Kyasanur Forest Disease, a viral hemorrhagic fever, caused by the KFD virus, which belongs to Falviviridae, and is spread most commonly by the tick Haemaphysalis spinigera is spreading to areas where it was traditionally not found. Most commonly associated with Karnataka, with newer foci developing in Kerala, this disease is threatening to spill into the Western Ghats and into the state of Maharashtra.

First reported from the Kyasanur forest area in 1957, this disease has slowly and surely started to increase in its geographic range.