Infectious Diseases 2023

Infectious Diseases 2023

Vaccines against avian influenza

Wageningen University & Research 20 March, 2023 According to Nancy Beerens, the head of the National Reference Laboratory for avian influenza, two out of four vaccines tested for their efficacy against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) type H5N1, are effective under laboratory conditions.
The HVT-H5 vaccines prevent the spread of the virus and protect against disease symptoms in laying hens. The study was conducted at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, in collaboration with Utrecht University, Royal GD, and Wageningen University & Research, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
The study involved testing three modern vaccines in laying hens, including the HVT-H5 vaccines from Ceva Sante Animale and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, and a DNA vaccine from Huvepharma. An older vaccine called Nobilis from Merck Sharp & Dome was also included. The HVT-H5 vaccines were found to be 100% effective in preventing disease and mortality after infection with the HPAI H5N1 virus and preventing virus Read More

PAHO: Outbreaks of avian influenza A(H5N1) in Latino-america countries

14 March, 2023 The detection of HPAI outbreaks in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is a situation never recorded before. The identified outbreaks are mainly located in areas of the Pacific flyway.
The following is a summary of the situation in countries of the Region of the Latin America and the Caribbean that reported outbreaks of avian influenza in 2022 and 2023.
In Argentina, the National Service of Health and Food Quality reported the first detection in the country in wild birds on 15 February 2023, in the Pozuelos lagoon, north west of the province of Jujuy, near the border with Bolivia. Until 6 March, 39 outbreaks of avian influenza A(H5) have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard birds and poultry production farms in 9 provinces of the country: Buenos Aires, Chaco, Córdoba, Jujuy, Neuquén, Rio Negro, Salta, San Luis and Santa Fe, there have been no human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H5) in relation to the identified outbreak. Read More

Avian influenza overview December 2022-March 2023

ECDC 13 March, 2023 Between 3 December 2022 and 1 March 2023 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) virus, clade, was reported in Europe in domestic (522) and wild (1,138) birds over 24 countries. An unexpected number of HPAI virus detections in sea birds were observed, mainly in gull species and particularly in black-headed gulls (large mortality events were observed in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy). The close genetic relationship among viruses collected from black-headed gulls suggests a southward spread of the virus. Moreover, the genetic analyses indicate that the virus persisted in Europe in residential wild birds during and after the summer months.
Although the virus retained a preferential binding for avian-like receptors, several mutations associated with increased zoonotic potential were detected. The risk of HPAI virus infection for poultry due to the virus circulating in black-headed gulls and other gull species might increase during the coming months, as bree Read More

Argentina: first case of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock

1 March, 2023 The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa) confirmed the first positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry in the province of Río Negro. Senasa explained that "the positive case comes from a broiler chicken establishment located in the town of Mainque, province of Río Negro, south of the Patagonian zoophytosanitary barrier, in an area of low poultry density. Read More

The European Commission modifies the laws governing AI vaccines

27 February, 2023 In an attempt to combat the largest avian influenza epidemic that has been recorded in the EU thus far, the European Commission has announced new regulations to harmonise the vaccination of animals against the most severe animal diseases.
The worst avian influenza outbreak in recorded history struck Europe last year. Between October 2021 and September 2022, there were an unprecedented number of outbreaks across 37 European nations, according to the European Food Safety Agency's (EFSA) most recent quarterly report, which resulted in the culling of 50 million birds in affected establishments. Read More

HPAI virus zoonotic mutation found in the brains of wild carnivores

Pathogens 2023, 12, 168. 26 February, 2023 A new study on wild carnivore species infected with HPAI virus subtype H5N1 during the 2021-2022 outbreak in the Netherlands discovered the zoonotic mutation PB2-E627K in 8 of 11 cases. The fact that this mutation was not found in any wild bird sequences during the 2021-2022 Dutch epizootic suggests that it appears quickly after mammalian infection. The mutation E627K is most likely an adaptation to the lower body temperature in mammalian upper respiratory tract compared to avian species. The presence of the mammalian adaptation marker E627K in many carnivore viruses suggests that this virus can quickly adapt to replication in mammals.
Most of the animals were submitted for testing because they displayed neurological symptoms. Read More

A(H5N1) in two workers in Spain: suspected environmental contamination

Euro Surveill. 2023;28(8) 24 February, 2023 On September 2022, two cases of avian influenza in humans were reported in Spain. Now the investigation of the incident is being published.
On 20 September 2022, an outbreak of HPAI A(H5N1) was confirmed in a poultry farm in the autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Two days later, screening for influenza was performed on all 12 exposed workers. A nasopharyngeal swab from one worker, aged ca 20 years who was asymptomatic, was positive for influenza A by RT-PCR performed at the regional reference laboratory on 22 September. The presence of influenza A(H5N1) was confirmed by PCR by the Influenza National Reference Laboratory (NRL) on 27 September. After notification to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 4 October, a respiratory sample and an additional serum sample taken on 8 October were sent to the WHO Reference Laboratory (WRL) in London, United Kingdom yielding negative results for PCR detection and serology. Read More

Cambodia: A family cluster of infection with A(H5N1) in humans

24 February, 2023 The Cambodia Ministry of Health reports that an 11-year-old in Roleang village, Prey Veng province has died after contracting H5N1 avian influenza. The girls started to show symptoms on February 16, received treatment in the village for three days without improving before being transferred to the National Paediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh on February 21. She died the next day. Read More

WNF: Drop in egg production in Pekin Duck breeders

Avian Diseases 67, 2023 20 February, 2023 West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic, mosquito-borne member of the genus Flavivirus. Transmission is associated with mosquito activity. Mosquitoes of the genus Culex are the main vectors of WNV. A new report t highlights two outbreaks of WNV infection in Pekin breeder ducks, as a cause of drop in egg production. Read More

Guatemala: first report of HPAI

17 February, 2023 Guatemala reported its first H5N1 detection in wild birds, which involves brown pelicans found dead near the end of January at a nature park in Izabal department in the eastern part of the country. Read More

Genome Analysis of Enterococcus cecorum

J Clin Microbiol . 2023 Feb 16;e0144522. doi: 10.1128/jcm.01445-22 17 February, 2023 Enterococcus cecorum is a commensal bacterium of the gut microbiota of adult chickens. This bacterium has emerged over the last 20 years as a significant cause of locomotor disorders in poultry worldwide, particularly in fast-growing broilers. E. cecorum is mostly responsible for osteomyelitis, spondylitis, vertebral osteoarthritis, and femoral head necrosis, causing substantial losses in broiler production due to culling, mortality, condemnations at the slaughterhouse, veterinary costs, and increased exposure to antibiotics. A new study found that most clinical isolates are grouped phylogenetically, and six genes discriminate 94% of isolates associated with disease from those that are not. Read More

Uruguay: first case of HPAI

16 February, 2023 Uruguayan officials have reported the country's first case of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5) virus in 5 black-necked swans in Laguna Garzon. Read More

Chile: H5N1 Infection in a Sea Lion

16 February, 2023 SERNAPESCA, Chile's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, announced the first laboratory confirmed sea lion H5N1 infection in Antofagasta. This is the first case of a marine mammal affected by this virus in Chile. Read More

Zoonotic pathogens in Scotland Biennial Report 2020/2021

16 February, 2023 A new report presents provisional information on laboratory reports of gastrointestinal and zoonotic pathogens in Scotland up to the end of 2021.
Campylobacter: In 2020, Public Health Scotland (PHS) received 5392 laboratory reports of Campylobacter.
In 2021, 5890 laboratory reports of Campylobacter were received.
The highest incidence rates continue to be seen in young children (aged 0-4 years) and older adults (aged 65+ years).
In 2020, the overall incidence rate (number of laboratory reports per 100,000 population) of Campylobacter in Scotland was 98.6, compared with 107.8 in 2021. Read More

Argentina confirms the presence of avian influenza

15 February, 2023 The National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (SENASA) reported the first detection in the country of avian influenza (AI) H5 in wild birds in the Pozuelos lagoon, northwest of the province of Jujuy, near the border with Bolivia.
Read More

Cuba reports presence of HPAI

10 February, 2023 The World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has reported that Cuba has detected highly pathogenic H5N1 for the first time in wild birds at a zoo in Havana. Read More

Ecuador will vaccinate against H5N1 HPAI

8 February, 2023 Ecuador approved the purchase of vaccines to deal with an outbreak of avian influenza that has left around 1.2 million birds dead or slaughtered, especially in the north-central Andean region. The vaccines will be supplied by Mexico. Each dose will cost about eight cents and each bird, if vaccinated from a young age, requires three doses (future layers). Read More

Peru: SENASA confirm death of 3 sea lions and a dolphin due to avian influenza

6 February, 2023 The National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (Senasa) confirmed the death of 3 sea lions in Lima and a dolphin in Piura due to avian influenza. This information was sent to the Ministry of Health through an official letter to take the corresponding actions.
According to the document addressed to César Munayco, general director of the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Diseases of the Minsa, the 3 sea lions coming from the coast of Lima tested positive for the type A avian influenza virus . A similar situation occurred in the analysis of a dolphin from Paita, in Piura. Read More

Bolivia: first case of avian influenza

1 February, 2023 For the first time, Bolivia has reported two occurrences of H5N1 avian influenza. This highly contagious virus has already caused the death of countless birds in the United States and Europe, according to Reuters. The propagation of the virus is of significant concern for government entities and poultry industry personnel as it impedes supply, escalates food prices, and carries the potential of transmission to humans. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, based in Paris, the first outbreak was identified on a laying-hen farm in Sacaba containing 35,000 birds. The second was found on a small property in Quillacollo with 202 domestic ducks, geese, and chickens. Read More

Ireland: Culls of poultry flocks due to salmonella outbreak

1 February, 2023 More than 7,000 birds across eight poultry farms throughout Ireland must be slaughtered in order to prevent infected chicken products from entering the food chain. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has verified that this salmonella outbreak was related to the chicken products recalled from stores last week. Restrictions have been put into place within the local vicinity of the farms, primarily in the County Cavan area. Testing in commercial poultry flocks around Ireland has been increased since the recall to find any link between the food source and the various outbreaks. Read More

France: Cat infected with avian influenza

27 January, 2023 A domestic cat was found to have been infected with avian influenza, and euthanised after suffering severe neurological symptoms. It is the first case of its kind in France.
The cat, which lived in Mauléon, Deux-Sèvres in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, picked up the virus from a nearby poultry farm that raised ducks.
First of its kind in France.
A few days before the virus was discovered in the cat, 8,000 birds at a nearby farm were slaughtered due to a bird flu outbreak. Read More

India: Salmonellosis due to raw egg mayonnaise

Source: The Hindu 25 January, 2023 Salmonella has been found in the samples collected after nearly 106 people consumed food from an eatery in North Paravur in Ernakulam and suffered foodborne illness. Illness was reported in people who ate mayonnaise, grilled chicken, and mixed fried rice from Majlis Hotel near the municipal office building.
The infection was mostly found in people with mayonnaise made from raw eggs. Read More

Zoonotic potential of HPAI H5N1 viruses

Microbiol Spectr 2023 Jan 23;e0286722. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02867-22. 24 January, 2023 Researchers from the Netherlands investigated different H5N1 isolates from Red Foxes found positive for HPAI virus. Three wild red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were submitted with neurological symptoms (likely due to the foxes feeding on infected birds) between December of 2021 and February of 2022. Histopathological analysis demonstrated that the virus was mainly present in the brain, with limited or no detection in the respiratory tract or other organs. Limited or no virus shedding was observed in throat and rectal swabs.
Phylogenetic analysis showed that the three fox viruses were not closely related, but they were related to HPAI H5N1 clade viruses that are found in wild birds. This suggests that the virus was not transmitted between the foxes. Read More

HPAI A(H5N1) virus infection in farmed minks, Spain, October 2022

Eurosurveillance | Volume 28 | Issue 3 20 January, 2023 Last October we report an outbreak of Avian H5N1 in a Mink farm in Spain. Now the journal Eurosurveillance provides a detailed report on the outbreak. This is the first report of clade HPAI H5N1 virus infection of minks farmed for their fur in Europe. The minks were fed with raw fish and poultry by-products, cereals, and blood meal. Poultry farms and avian slaughterhouses supplying the poultry by-products were located in Galicia. Up to 10 January 2023, H5N1 poultry outbreaks have not been reported in this region.
The viruses identified presented the highest similarity with strains of the A/gull/France/22P015977/2022-like genotype, which has already been described in multiple wild bird species and sporadically in poultry across northern Europe. Read More

Sweden: Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak

19 January, 2023 Since the beginning of December 2022, 22 cases of illness infected with the same strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported to the Public Health Authority of Sweden. The infection is suspected to originate from eggs that have now been recalled.
At the end of December 2022, Salmonella Enteritidis was identified at a major Swedish egg producer, which has led to several recalls of fresh eggs.
An outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 22 people from eleven different regions has now been identified and is being investigated. Since several of the sick have eaten dishes containing raw eggs from the now-recalled batches, there are strong reasons to suspect a connection to the earlier Salmonella finding at the egg producer. The disease cases are aged 7-90 years (median=40 years), twelve of the cases are women and the illnesses occurred between December 7, 2022, and January 6, 2023. Read More

Grizzly bears test positive for avian influenza in Montana

19 January, 2023 Three grizzly bears were euthanized in Montana after they became ill and tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus, according to the state’s Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
The bears were observed to be in poor condition and exhibited disorientation and partial blindness, among other neurological issues. They were euthanized due to their sickness and poor condition. Read More

Human infection caused by avian influenza A(H5) - Ecuador

WHO 18 January, 2023 On 9 January 2023, WHO was notified of a human infection caused by an avian influenza A(H5) virus. The case, a nine-year-old girl, living in a rural area in the province of Bolívar, Ecuador, was in contact with backyard poultry, which was acquired a week before the onset of her symptoms, which died without apparent cause on 19 December 2022. She developed symptoms of conjunctivitis and a runny nose on 25 December 2022. On 30 December, due to the persistent symptoms including nausea, vomiting and constipation, she was admitted to a general hospital where empirical treatment for meningitis was started with antibiotics and antipyretics. On 3 January 2023, she was transferred to a pediatric hospital in critical condition where she was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with septic shock and was treated with antivirals and mechanical ventilation due to pneumonia. She is currently hospitalized, in isolation. Read More

PAHO: Outbreaks of avian influenza A(H5) in the Region of the Americas

12 January, 2023 As of epidemiological week (EW) 1 of 2023, agricultural authorities in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the United Stated of America, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have detected outbreaks of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in domestic birds, farm poultry, and/or wild birds. The detection of HPAI outbreaks in eight countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is a situation never recorded.
To date, there have been two human infections caused by avian influenza A(H5), the first in the United States of America in which the subtype A(H5N1) was identified and reported on 29 April 2022 and the second in Ecuador, which was notified on 9 January 2023. Read More

Avian influenza detected in Honduras

11 January, 2023 Honduras reports HPAI H5N1 in brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) found on the beach of La Ceiba and Puerto Cortés (northern Honduras). No cases have been reported among domestic or poultry birds and no human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) have been reported in relation to identified outbreaks. Read More

Ecuador: first case of avian influenza in a nine-year-old girl

11 January, 2023 The Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador reports 1st human case of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 (clade in Ecuador. The case is a 9-year-old girl presumed to have had direct contact with infected poultry.
The patient is currently hospitalized in a pediatric intensive care unit, in isolation and with antiviral and supportive treatment. Read More

Denmark: Foxes positive to H5N1

9 January, 2023 Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in Danish foxes for the first time.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has been detected in samples from 4 wild Danish foxes (Three fox puppies around 4-5 weeks old and an adult male fox). The foxes have presumably died as a result of infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza. The foxes have been autopsied by the Pathology Service at the University of Copenhagen and influenza has been detected by analyzes carried out at the Statens Serum Institut. Read More

Two outbreaks of Salmonella linked to kebab shops in Canberra, Australia

7 January, 2023 Two outbreaks of Salmonella associated with kebab shops in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory are reported in a publication.
The first consisted of 12 cases of Salmonella Agona, nine of whom reported eating chicken from the same kebab shop.
The second consisted of two cases of Salmonella Virchow who both reported eating chicken from another (unrelated) kebab shop. Environmental investigations identified similar food safety issues at both businesses, including improper cleaning of kebab shaving equipment and serving cut rotisserie meat without further cooking.
Environmental samples detected Salmonella genomically linked to the respective outbreak cases. In both outbreaks, inadequate temperature control of meat may have been a contributing factor. Read More

Britain: Salmonella detection in laying hens

Zoonoses Public Health | 2023 7 January, 2023 As part of the measures to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry in the UK, National Control Programmes (NCPs) have been implemented. These involve regular statutory testing of poultry holdings to monitor and estimate the prevalence of Salmonella in the national flock population and to control Salmonella on holdings with positive flocks, especially those serovars most identified with human illness: Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and S. Typhimurium (ST).
The aim of a new study published in Zoonoses and Public Health was to estimate the sensitivity of both the Operator and Competent Authority (CA) Official sampling used to detect infected flocks and to also estimate the true proportion of infected holdings of commercial laying flocks in GB each year of the NCP, along with the trend of any changes in prevalence for both SE/ST and non-SE/ST. A Bayesian model was developed to estimate the sensitivity of both Operator and CA Official sampling from the NCP data 2009–2018, and to esti Read More

France: Campylobacter surveillance in 2021

Source: Santé Publique France 5 January, 2023 In 2021, surveillance of Campylobacter infections confirmed the epidemiological and biological trends already observed in recent years. Specifically, the data shows:
a predominance of the species C. jejuni;
a higher number of cases and incidence in children with a maximum incidence in 0-9 year olds (27 cases/100,000 inhabitants);
a predominance of infections in men 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants versus 11 cases per 100,000 for women (less marked trend in people aged 20 to 39);
a seasonal peak during the summer period;
high resistance to fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines, which has remained stable in recent years;
no notable increase in the resistance rates of the six antibiotics tested routinely;
consumption of poultry products as the first food (incriminated or suspected) identified as a source of contamination in episodes of collective food poisoning. Read More

More Mammals Confirmed with Avian influenza

5 January, 2023 The StarHeral reported HAPI infections were the cause of death for four animals at the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff. The Nebraska zoo confirmed a cougar, bear, and two tigers had died. Read More

Sweden: Coop recalls egg free-range

4 January, 2023 Coop (Sweden) one of Sweden's largest groceries is recalling Coop Egg Free-range 12-pack, Coop Egg Free-range 24-pack and Xtra Egg Free-range 15-pack with three different best-before dates. The reason for the recall is that the goods may contain salmonella. During a routine check, the supplier of the eggs discovered salmonella in one of the stables where the eggs were laid. Read More