Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Zika virus’ Category

Latest research: Immune globulin shows promise for severe Zika thrombocytopenia

Oxford Academic

Elizabeth A Van Dyne, Paige Neaterour, Aidsa Rivera, Melissa Bello-Pagan, Laura Adams, Jorge Munoz-Jordan, Priscilla Baez, Myriam Garcia, Stephen H Waterman, Nimia Reyes, Lisa C Richardson, Brenda Rivera-Garcia, Tyler M Sharp; Incidence and Outcome of Severe and Non-severe Thrombocytopenia Associated with Zika Virus Infection — Puerto Rico, 2016, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, , ofy325, https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofy325

“…..Of 37,878 patients with ZIKV infection, 47 (0.1%) had thrombocytopenia in the absence of an alternative etiology (1.4 cases/100,000 population), including 12 with severe thrombocytopenia. Most patients with thrombocytopenia were adult (77%) and male (53%). Platelet nadir occurred a median of six (range: 1–16) and five (range: 0–34) days after symptom onset for patients with severe and non-severe thrombocytopenia, respectively. Among patients with severe thrombocytopenia, all had bleeding, 33% were admitted to the ICU, and 8% died; 50% were treated for ITP. Among five patients with severe thrombocytopenia who received intravenous immunoglobulin, median platelet count increase was 112 X 10 9/L (range: 65–202 X 10 9/L). In contrast, among four patients who received platelet transfusion, median increase in platelet count was 8.5 X 10 9/L (range: -6–52 x 10 9/L)……”


 


Current Emergency Use Authorizations

Emergency Use Authorization, with Emergency sign

FDA

The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against CBRN threats by facilitating the availability and use of MCMs needed during public health emergencies.

Under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), the FDA Commissioner may allow unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by CBRN threat agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.

Section 564 of the FD&C Act was amended by the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 and the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 (PAHPRA), which was enacted in March 2013

Current EUAs

The tables below provide information on current EUAs:


India is currently experiencing its largest Zika virus outbreak

Alexander G Watts, M S A Carmen Huber, Isaac I Bogoch, Oliver J Brady, Moritz U G Kraemer, Kamran Khan; Potential Zika virus spread within and beyond India, Journal of Travel Medicine, , tay132, https://doi.org/10.1093/jtm/tay132

“……By the end of October, 147 cases had been reported in Jaipur, a popular tourist destination, and as of Nov 2, neighboring Gujarat state reported 1 case and Madhya Pradesh state reported 3 infections…..”


Aedes albopictus, a vector for Zika, Dengue, and Yellow Fever, has been spotted in Eindhoven, Netherlands

The Dutch News

 


The mosquito, Aedes albopictus, that is responsible for transmitting Zika virus and yellow fever is closing in on Portugal

The Portugal News

 


WHO: Prioritizing Emerging Infectious Diseases in Need of Research and Development

The World Health Organization R&D Blueprint aims to accelerate the availability of medical technologies during epidemics by focusing on a list of prioritized emerging diseases for which medical countermeasures are insufficient or nonexistent. The prioritization process has 3 components: a Delphi process to narrow down a list of potential priority diseases, a multicriteria decision analysis to rank the short list of diseases, and a final Delphi round to arrive at a final list of 10 diseases.

A group of international experts applied this process in January 2017, resulting in a list of 10 priority diseases. The robustness of the list was tested by performing a sensitivity analysis. The new process corrected major shortcomings in the pre–R&D Blueprint approach to disease prioritization and increased confidence in the results.

Multicriteria scores of diseases considered in the 2017 prioritization exercise for the development of the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint to prioritize emerging infectious diseases in need of research and development. A) Disease final ranking using the geometric average of the comparison matrices. B) Disease final ranking using the arithmetic average of the raw data. Error bars correspond to SD, indicating disagreement among experts. C) Disease final ranking using the SMART Vaccines

Multicriteria scores of diseases considered in the 2017 prioritization exercise for the development of the World Health Organization R&D Blueprint to prioritize emerging infectious diseases in need of research and development. A) Disease final ranking using the geometric average of the comparison matrices. B) Disease final ranking using the arithmetic average of the raw data. Error bars correspond to SD, indicating disagreement among experts. C) Disease final ranking using the SMART Vaccines prioritization tool (56). P1, Ebola virus infection; P2, Marburg virus infection; P3, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus infection; P4, severe acute respiratory syndrome; P5, Lassa virus infection; P6, Nipah virus infection; P7, Rift Valley fever; P8, Zika virus infection; P9, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever; P10, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome; P11, South American hemorrhagic fever; P12, plague; P13, hantavirus infection.

Si Mehand M, Millett P, Al-Shorbaji F, Roth C, Kieny MP, Murgue B. World Health Organization methodology to prioritize emerging infectious diseases in need of research and development. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Sep [date cited]. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2409.171427


Sterile Insect Technique on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

CSIRO

In an international partnership between CSIRO, Verily and James Cook University, scientists used specialised technology to release millions of sterilised male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes across the Cassowary Coast in Queensland in a bid to combat the global pest.

CSIRO Director of Health and Biosecurity Dr Rob Grenfell said the results were a major win in the fight against diseases-spreading mosquitoes.

“The invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of the world’s most dangerous pests, capable of spreading devastating diseases like dengue, Zika and chikungunya and responsible for infecting millions of people with disease around the world each year,” Dr Grenfell said.

“Increased urbanisation and warming temperatures mean that more people are at risk, as these mosquitoes which were once relegated to areas near the equator forge past previous climatic boundaries.

“Although the majority of mosquitoes don’t spread diseases, the three mostly deadly types the Aedes, Anopheles and Culex are found almost all over the world and are responsible for around 17 per cent of infectious disease transmissions globally.”

From November 2017 to June this year, non-biting male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sterilised with the natural bacteria Wolbachia were released in trial zones along the Cassowary Coast in North Queensland.

They mated with local female mosquitoes, resulting in eggs that did not hatch and a significant reduction of their population.

“Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the Innisfail community who literally opened their doors to our team, letting us install mosquito traps around their homes and businesses – we couldn’t have done this without your support,” Dr Grenfell said.

The process, known as the Sterile Insect Technique, has been successfully used since the 1950s but the challenge in making it work for mosquitoes like the Aedes aegypti has been rearing enough mosquitoes, removing biting females, identifying the males and then releasing the huge numbers needed to suppress a population.

To address this challenge, Verily, an affiliate of Alphabet Inc, developed a mosquito rearing and sex sorting and release technology as part of its global Debug project.

“We’re very pleased to see strong suppression of these dangerous biting female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes,” Verily’s Nigel Snoad said.

“We are particularly thankful to the people of Innisfail for their strong support, which has been incredible.

“We came to Innisfail with CSIRO and JCU to see how this approach worked in a tropical environment where these mosquitoes thrive, and to learn what it was like to operate our technology with research collaborators as we work together to find new ways to tackle these dangerous mosquitoes.”

Scientists compared the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes trapped in release sites and control zones to monitor and track populations.

The millions of mosquitoes needed for the trial were reared at James Cook University in Cairns.

To produce the three million male mosquitoes needed for the trial, researchers at James Cook University (JCU) in Cairns set out to raise almost 20 million Aedes aegypti.

“We allowed for the possibility of deaths during the process, as well as the need to sift out the female half of the population,” Dr Kyran Staunton from James Cook University said.

“Verily’s technology enabled us to do the sex sorting faster and with much higher accuracy.

“We learnt a lot from collaborating on this first tropical trial and we’re excited to see how this approach might be applied in other regions where Aedes aegypti poses a threat to life and health.”

“The health of our nation is paramount as we help Australia achieve its vision to become one of the healthiest nations on earth,” CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said.

“By enabling industry partners like Verily to leverage the world-leading health capability we have built in CSIRO we can deliver this moonshot and tackle some of the world’s most wicked challenges with science.”


Clinical differences between Dengue and Zika

EID

Yan G, Pang L, Cook AR, Ho HJ, Win MS, Khoo AL, et al. Distinguishing Zika and dengue viruses through simple clinical assessment, Singapore. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Aug [date cited]. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2408.171883

“…Conjunctivitis strongly indicated Zika virus infection (odds ratio [OR] 30.1, 95% CI 9.57–94.44; p < 0.001). In contrast, fever (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01–0.47; p = 0.008), myalgia (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.08–0.48; p<0.001), and headache (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.05–0.30; p<0.001) were more prominent in patients with DENV infection.

Further, DENV patients tended to have thrombocytopenia (median platelet count 132 × 109/µL, range 15–386 × 109/µL) and monocytosis (median monocyte count 0.50 × 109/µL, range 0.11–1.70 × 109/µL), whereas Zika patients tended to have normal platelet (median 225 × 109/µL, range 128–326 × 109/µL; p<0.001) and monocyte (median 0.35 × 109/µL, range 0.13–1.00 × 109/µL; p = 0.021) counts……”


Zika in Kids Living in Puerto Rico

Participants who had confirmed ZIKV infection included 25 infants (7.1%), 69 children (19.7%) aged 1 to 4 years, 95 (27.1%) aged 5 to 9 years, and 162 (46.1%) aged 10 to 17 years. Among these, 260 patients (74.1%) presented for evaluation of ZIKV infection at fewer than 3 days after the onset of symptoms, 340 (96.9%) were discharged to home after evaluation, and 349 (99.4%) had fever, 280 (79.8%) had a rash, 243 (69.2%) had facial or neck erythema, 234 (66.7%) had fatigue, 223 (63.5%) had headache, 212 (60.4%) had chills, 206 (58.7%) had pruritus, and 204 (58.1%) had conjunctival hyperemia.

May 29, 2018
Symptomatic Zika Virus Infection in Infants, Children, and Adolescents Living in Puerto Rico
JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 29, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0870

WHO: List of Blueprint priority diseases (i.e. diseases and pathogens to prioritize for research and development in public health emergency contexts)

WHO

2018 annual review of the Blueprint list of priority diseases

For the purposes of the R&D Blueprint, WHO has developed a special tool for determining which diseases and pathogens to prioritize for research and development in public health emergency contexts. This tool seeks to identify those diseases that pose a public health risk because of their epidemic potential and for which there are no, or insufficient, countermeasures. The diseases identified through this process are the focus of the work of R& D Blueprint. This is not an exhaustive list, nor does it indicate the most likely causes of the next epidemic.

The first list of prioritized diseases was released in December 2015.

Using a published prioritization methodology, the list was first reviewed in January 2017.

February 2018 – Second annual review

The second annual review occurred 6-7 February, 2018. Experts consider that given their potential to cause a public health emergency and the absence of efficacious drugs and/or vaccines, there is an urgent need for accelerated research and development for*:

  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)
  • Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease
  • Lassa fever
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • Nipah and henipaviral diseases
  • Rift Valley fever (RVF)
  • Zika
  • Disease X

Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease, and so the R&D Blueprint explicitly seeks to enable cross-cutting R&D preparedness that is also relevant for an unknown “Disease X” as far as possible.

A number of additional diseases were discussed and considered for inclusion in the priority list, including: Arenaviral hemorrhagic fevers other than Lassa Fever; Chikungunya; highly pathogenic coronaviral diseases other than MERS and SARS; emergent non-polio enteroviruses (including EV71, D68); and Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS).

These diseases pose major public health risks and further research and development is needed, including surveillance and diagnostics. They should be watched carefully and considered again at the next annual review. Efforts in the interim to understand and mitigate them are encouraged.

Although not included on the list of diseases to be considered at the meeting, monkeypox and leptospirosis were discussed and experts stressed the risks they pose to public health. There was agreement on the need for: rapid evaluation of available potential countermeasures; the establishment of more comprehensive surveillance and diagnostics; and accelerated research and development and public health action.

Several diseases were determined to be outside of the current scope of the Blueprint: dengue, yellow fever, HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, malaria, influenza causing severe human disease, smallpox, cholera, leishmaniasis, West Nile Virus and plague. These diseases continue to pose major public health problems and further research and development is needed through existing major disease control initiatives, extensive R&D pipelines, existing funding streams, or established regulatory pathways for improved interventions. In particular, experts recognized the need for improved diagnostics and vaccines for pneumonic plague and additional support for more effective therapeutics against leishmaniasis.

The experts also noted that:

  • For many of the diseases discussed, as well as many other diseases with the potential to cause a public health emergency, there is a need for better diagnostics.
  • Existing drugs and vaccines need further improvement for several of the diseases considered but not included in the priority list.
  • Any type of pathogen could be prioritised under the Blueprint, not only viruses.
  • Necessary research includes basic/fundamental and characterization research as well as epidemiological, entomological or multidisciplinary studies, or further elucidation of transmission routes, as well as social science research.
  • There is a need to assess the value, where possible, of developing countermeasures for multiple diseases or for families of pathogens.

The impact of environmental issues on diseases with the potential to cause public health emergencies was discussed. This may need to be considered as part of future reviews.

The importance of the diseases discussed was considered for special populations, such as refugees, internally displaced populations, and victims of disasters.

The value of a One Health approach was stressed, including a parallel prioritization processes for animal health. Such an effort would support research and development to prevent and control animal diseases minimising spill-over and enhancing food security. The possible utility of animal vaccines for preventing public health emergencies was also noted.

Also there are concerted efforts to address anti-microbial resistance through specific international initiatives. The possibility was not excluded that, in the future, a resistant pathogen might emerge and appropriately be prioritized.

 

*The order of diseases on this list does not denote any ranking of priority.

 


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