Does E. ewingii Cause More Cases of Ehrlichiosis Than Previously Thought?

This figure shows the incidence of ehrlichicosis cases by state in 2010 per million persons. Ehrlichiosis was not notifiable in Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota or Montana. The incidence rate was zero for Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. Incidence ranged between 0.03 to 1 case per million persons for California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. Annual incidence ranged from 1 to 3.3 cases per million persons in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina and West Virginia. The highest incidence rates, ranging from 3.3 to 26 cases per million persons were found in Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Image and text credit: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage on Statistics and Epidemiology of Ehrlichiosis. Link

Ehrlichiosis is caused by three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Ehrlichia: E. chaffeensis, E. ewingii and the provisionally named E. muris like (EML). A recent article in the CDC’s EID indicates that the proportion of cases attributable to E. ewingii may be higher than what we initially knew it to be.

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World Serology Bank: Key to a Better Understanding of Infectious Disease Dynamics?

blood in test tubeAn article published in The Lancet today has highlighted the possibility of establishing a World Serology Bank to better understand the dynamics of infectious disease dynamics, especially in an era where vaccinations against infectious diseases is becoming more and more prevalent. With rapid advance in diagnostic technologies, there has been impressive progress in what used to be tedious and time consuming tests. Now, using multiplex technology, a number of samples can be tested at one go, often for a number of pathogens, therefore, cutting the time requirement exponentially! However, it essentially remains a developed world solution for a problem that largely affects low and middle income countries. Image Credits: MedPage Today

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Four Pillars of Containing Antimicrobial Resistance

Antibiotic_resistance_cartoonGlenn Tillotson, commenting on the Jim O’Neill report (1) in a short article in the Lancet Infectious Diseases has proposed additional frameworks to contain antimicrobial resistance. (2) The O’Neill report, titled “Review on antimicrobial resistance. Securing new drugs for future generations: the pipeline for antibiotics.”  is one of the most intensively researched documents into the emerging problem. Tillotson acknowledged the importance of the O’Neill report, stating:

“The latest report1 by Jim O’Neill and colleagues regarding the parlous state of antibiotic resistance and its effects—both financial and societal—has grabbed the bull by the horns and clearly stated the obvious, but essential, points of the economic reality of antibiotic development.”

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