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Deborah Toppenberg-Pejcic, Jane Noyes, Tomas Allen, Nyka Alexander, Marsha Vanderford, Gaya Gamhewage
A rapid review of gray literature from 2015 to 2016 was conducted to identify the lessons learned for emergency risk communication from recent outbreaks of Ebola, Zika, and yellow fever. Gray literature databases and key websites were searched and requests for documents were posted to expert networks. A total of 83 documents met inclusion criteria, 68 of which are cited in this report. This article focuses on the 3 questions, out of 12 posed by World Health Organization as part of a Guideline development process, dealing most directly with communicating risk during health emergencies: community engagement, trust building, and social media...
March 20, 2018: Health Communication
J Daniel Kelly, Eugene T Richardson, Michael Drasher, M Bailor Barrie, Sahr Karku, Mohamed Kamara, Katrina Hann, Kerry Dierberg, Allan Hubbard, Christina P Lindan, Paul E Farmer, George W Rutherford, Sheri D Weiser
Studies have shown that people suffering from food insecurity are at higher risk for infectious and noncommunicable diseases and have poorer health outcomes. No study, however, has examined the association between food insecurity and outcomes related to Ebola virus disease (EVD). We conducted a cross-sectional study in two Ebola-affected communities in Kono district, Sierra Leone, from November 2015 to September 2016. We enrolled persons who were determined to have been exposed to Ebola virus. We assessed the association of food insecurity, using an adapted version of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, a nine-item scale well validated across Africa, with having been diagnosed with EVD and having died of EVD, using logistic regression models with cluster-adjusted standard errors...
March 19, 2018: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Sagar B Kudchodkar, Hyeree Choi, Emma L Reuschel, Rianne Esquivel, Jackie Jin-Ah Kwon, Moonsup Jeong, Joel N Maslow, Charles C Reed, Scott White, J Joseph Kim, Gary P Kobinger, Pablo Tebas, David B Weiner, Kar Muthumani
Vaccines are considered one of the greatest advances in modern medicine. The global burden of numerous infectious diseases has been significantly reduced, and in some cases, effectively eradicated through the deployment of specific vaccines. However, efforts to develop effective vaccines against infectious pathogens such as influenza, HIV, dengue virus (DENV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Ebola virus, and Zika virus (ZIKV) have proven challenging. Zika virus is a mosquito-vectored flavivirus responsible for periodic outbreaks of disease in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands dating back over 50 years...
March 16, 2018: Microbes and Infection
Emanuela Ruggiero, Sara N Richter
G-quadruplexes (G4s) are non-canonical nucleic acids secondary structures that form within guanine-rich strands of regulatory genomic regions. G4s have been extensively described in the human genome, especially in telomeres and oncogene promoters; in recent years the presence of G4s in viruses has attracted increasing interest. Indeed, G4s have been reported in several viruses, including those involved in recent epidemics, such as the Zika and Ebola viruses. Viral G4s are usually located in regulatory regions of the genome and implicated in the control of key viral processes; in some cases, they have been involved also in viral latency...
March 15, 2018: Nucleic Acids Research
Joan M King, Chetan Tiwari, Armin R Mikler, Martin O'Neill
Ebola is a high consequence infectious disease-a disease with the potential to cause outbreaks, epidemics, or pandemics with deadly possibilities, highly infectious, pathogenic, and virulent. Ebola's first reported cases in the United States in September 2014 led to the development of preparedness capabilities for the mitigation of possible rapid outbreaks, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) providing guidelines to assist public health officials in infectious disease response planning...
March 19, 2018: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Jackson Emanuel, Andrea Marzi, Heinz Feldmann
The Filoviridae are a family of negative-strand RNA viruses that include several important human pathogens. Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus are well-known filoviruses which cause life-threatening viral hemorrhagic fever in human and nonhuman primates. In addition to severe pathogenesis, filoviruses also exhibit a propensity for human-to-human transmission by close contact, posing challenges to containment and crisis management. Past outbreaks, in particular the recent West African EBOV epidemic, have been responsible for thousands of deaths and vaulted the filoviruses into public consciousness...
2018: Advances in Virus Research
Angus Fayia Tengbeh, Luisa Enria, Elizabeth Smout, Thomas Mooney, Mike Callaghan, David Ishola, Bailah Leigh, Deborah Watson-Jones, Brian Greenwood, Heidi Larson, Shelley Lees
The 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic presented a challenging setting in which to carry out clinical trials. This paper reports findings from social science research carried out in Kambia, Northern Sierra Leone during first year of an Ebola vaccine trial (August 2015-July 2016). The social science team collected data through ethnographic observation, 42 in depth interviews; 4 life narratives; 200 exit interviews; 31 key informant interviews; and 8 focus group discussions with trial participants and community members not enrolled in the trial...
March 5, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Mikko Koivu-Jolma, Arto Annila
Mathematical epidemiology is a well-recognized discipline to model infectious diseases. It also provides guidance for public health officials to limit outbreaks. Nevertheless, epidemics take societies by surprise every now and then, for example, when the Ebola virus epidemic raged seemingly unrestrained in Western Africa. We provide insight to this capricious character of nature by describing the epidemic as a natural process, i.e., a phenomenon governed by thermodynamics. Our account, based on statistical mechanics of open systems, clarifies that it is impossible to predict accurately epidemic courses because everything depends on everything else...
March 10, 2018: Mathematical Biosciences
Joy Y Feng
Nucleoside and nucleotide analogs have played significant roles in antiviral therapies and are valued for their impressive potency and high barrier to resistance. They have been approved for treatment of herpes simplex virus-1, HIV, HBV, HCV, and influenza, and new drugs are being developed for the treatment of RSV, Ebola, coronavirus MERS, and other emerging viruses. However, this class of compounds has also experienced a high attrition rate in clinical trials due to toxicity. In this review, we discuss the utility of different biochemical and cell-based assays and provide recommendations for assessing toxicity liability before entering animal toxicity studies...
January 2018: Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy
Kendra J Alfson, Anthony Griffiths
Complete inactivation of infectious Ebola virus (EBOV) is required before a sample may be removed from a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory. The United States Federal Select Agent Program regulations require that procedures used to demonstrate chemical inactivation must be validated in-house to confirm complete inactivation. The objective of this study was to develop a method for validating chemical inactivation of EBOV and then demonstrate the effectiveness of several commonly-used inactivation methods. Samples containing infectious EBOV ( Zaire ebolavirus ) in different matrices were treated, and the sample was diluted to limit the cytopathic effect of the inactivant...
March 13, 2018: Viruses
Matthew Graham, Jonathan E Suk, Saki Takahashi, C Jessica Metcalf, Adela Paez Jimenez, Vladimir Prikazsky, Matthew J Ferrari, Justin Lessler
We report on and evaluate the process and findings of a real-time modeling exercise in response to an outbreak of measles in Lola prefecture, Guinea, in early 2015 in the wake of the Ebola crisis. Multiple statistical methods for the estimation of the size of the susceptible (i.e., unvaccinated) population were applied to weekly reported measles case data on seven subprefectures throughout Lola. Stochastic compartmental models were used to project future measles incidence in each subprefecture in both an initial and a follow-up iteration of forecasting...
March 12, 2018: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Charles E Sepers, Stephen B Fawcett, Ithar Hassaballa, Florence DiGennaro Reed, Jerry Schultz, Davison Munodawafa, Peter Malekele Phori, Ephraim Chiriseri
Implementation of the Ebola response was credited with reducing incidence of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa; however little is known about the amount and kind of Ebola response activities that were ultimately successful in addressing the 2014 outbreak. We collaboratively monitored Ebola response activities and associated effects in Margibi County, Liberia, a rural county in Liberia deeply affected by the outbreak. We used a participatory monitoring and evaluation system, including key informant interviews and document review, to systematically document activities, code them, characterize their contextual features, and discover and communicate patterns in Ebola response activities to essential stakeholders...
February 24, 2018: Health Promotion International
Saskia Den Boon, Constanza Vallenas, Mauricio Ferri, Susan L Norris
Background: Ebola virus disease (EVD) health facility transmission can result in infection and death of health workers. The World Health Organization (WHO) supports countries in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies, which often require developing new guidance in short timelines with scarce evidence. The objective of this study was to understand frontline physicians' and nurses' perspectives about personal protective equipment (PPE) use during the 2014-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa and to incorporate these findings into the development process of a WHO rapid advice guideline...
2018: F1000Research
Angelina Kakooza-Mwesige, Abdul H Mohammed, Krister Kristensson, Sharon L Juliano, Julius J Lutwama
The global public health concern is heightened over the increasing number of emerging viruses, i.e., newly discovered or previously known that have expanded into new geographical zones. These viruses challenge the health-care systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries from which several of them have originated and been transmitted by insects worldwide. Some of these viruses are neuroinvasive, but have been relatively neglected by neuroscientists. They may provide experiments by nature to give a time window for exposure to a new virus within sizeable, previously non-infected human populations, which, for instance, enables studies on potential long-term or late-onset effects on the developing nervous system...
2018: Frontiers in Neurology
Leen Delang, Rana Abdelnabi, Johan Neyts
Favipiravir, also known as T-705, is an antiviral drug that has been approved in 2014 in Japan to treat pandemic influenza virus infections. The drug is converted intracellularly into its active, phosphoribosylated form, which is recognized as a substrate by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Interestingly, besides its anti-influenza virus activity, this molecule is also able to inhibit the replication of flavi-, alpha-, filo-, bunya-, arena-, noro-, and of other RNA viruses, which include neglected and (re)emerging viruses for which no antiviral therapy is currently available...
March 7, 2018: Antiviral Research
Eugene Wickett, André Peralta-Santos, Jason Beste, Mary Micikas, Foriest Toe, Julia Rogers, Lassana Jabateh, Bradley H Wagenaar
OBJECTIVES: In June 2015, Partners in Health (PIH) and the Liberian Ministry of Health began a community health worker (CHW) program containing food support, reimbursement of transport and social assistance to address gaps in tuberculosis (TB) treatment exacerbated by the 2014-2015 Ebola-virus disease (EVD) epidemic. The purpose of this article is to analyze the performance of routine clinical TB care and the effects of this CHW program. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study utilizing data from TB patient registers at a census of all health facilities treating TB in southeastern Liberia from January 2015 - April 2017...
March 9, 2018: Tropical Medicine & International Health: TM & IH
Susan L Erikson
Evidence from Sierra Leone reveals the significant limitations of big data in disease detection and containment efforts. Early in the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, media heralded HealthMap's ability to detect the outbreak from newsfeeds. Later, big data-specifically, call detail record (CDR) data collected from millions of cell phones-was hyped as useful for stopping the disease by tracking contagious people. It did not work. In this article, I trace the causes of big data's containment failures...
March 8, 2018: Medical Anthropology Quarterly
Pei Li, Yiwei Shan, Wangliang Zheng, Xiuyuan Ou, Dan Mi, Zhixia Mu, Kathryn V Holmes, Zhaohui Qian
The spike glycoprotein (S) of murine coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) strain A59 uses murine carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1a as its receptor for cell entry, but S protein can also be triggered in the absence of receptor by pH 8.0 alone at 37°C. The mechanism by which conformational changes of this S glycoprotein can be triggered by pH 8.0 has not yet been determined. Here we show that MHV-A59 S protein is triggered by pH 8.0 at 37°C to induce receptor-independent syncytium (RIS) formation on 293T cells, and that the conformational changes in S proteins triggered by pH 8...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Virology
Adrián Lázaro-Frías, Sergio Gómez-Medina, Lucas Sánchez-Sampedro, Karl Ljungberg, Mart Ustav, Peter Liljeström, César Muñoz-Fontela, Mariano Esteban, Juan García-Arriaza
Zaire and Sudan ebolavirus species cause a severe disease in humans and non-human primates (NHPs) characterized by high mortality rate. There are no licensed therapies or vaccines against Ebola virus disease (EVD), and the recent 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa highlighted the need of EVD-specific medical countermeasures. Here, we have generated and characterized head-to-head the immunogenicity and efficacy of five vaccine candidates against Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) and Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV) based on the highly attenuated poxvirus vector modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), expressing either the virus glycoprotein (GP) or GP together with the virus protein 40 (VP40) forming virus-like particles (VLPs)...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Virology
Maurice L Sipos, Paul Y Kim, Stephen J Thomas, Amy B Adler
Introduction: In the fall of 2014, the United States and other nations responded to the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in history. As part of this effort, U.S. service members deployed to West Africa to support a spectrum of activities that did not involve direct patient care. Although previous studies identified the psychological impact of responding to an outbreak, these studies were limited to retrospective data, small sample sizes, and medical personnel. The goals of the present study were to (a) document the mental health and well-being of troops deploying in response to an infectious disease outbreak; (b) identify their stressors, attitudes toward deployment, and health risk concerns; and (c) understand the role of combat experience in adjusting to these types of missions...
March 1, 2018: Military Medicine
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