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Journal: Infection ecology & epidemiology


Human consumption of bats poses an increasing public health threat globally. Communities in which bat guano is mined from caves have extensive exposure to bat excreta, often harvest bats for consumption, and are at risk for bat-borne diseases.

Concepts: Health, Epidemiology, Insect, Mammal, Primate, Seabird, Bat, Guano


Introduction: Foodborne disease is a major public health problem in poor countries, but we lack effective, sustainable and scalable approaches that work in the traditional, informal markets where most fresh, risky food is sold. A promising intervention is working with informal sector vendors to provide: a) training and technologies; b) an enabling environment; c) motivation for behaviour change. Materials and methods: We present a long-term follow-up of pilot project in one of the largest abattoirs and meat markets in Nigeria. An evaluation shortly after implementation found the intervention was acceptable, cost-effective and resulted in safer meat.  The follow-up nine years later using mixed methods: qualitative surveys and microbiological tests. Results and Discussion: The policy environment had become disabling, partly as a result of authorities attempts to move butchers to a modern, hygienic but more distant abattoir. This was resisted by the butchers. Authorities revoked the license for Bodija market and stopped providing services. Matters escalated and forceful attempts to remove butchers resulted in deaths followed by riots. Meat safety deteriorated. Conclusion: The case study shows the importance of an enabling environment and need for stakeholder collaboration in attempting to improve food safety in the traditional sector.


The Hendra virus (HeV) poses a significant challenge to public health in Australia. Expanding migratory patterns observed among bats and the mutation of the virus to seek and successfully infect new hosts is a significant departure from the generalized epidemiological trend. The recent discovery of equine-related infections and deaths in addition to a canine infection demonstrates the inadequacy of the current equine vaccine developed in 2012. Traditional models for controlling the spread of the vector are futile given the rapid pace at which bats' habitats are eroded. Recent ongoing zoonotic epidemics, for example, Ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, demonstrate that human-to-human transmission is a distinct reality rather than an obscure possibility. The development of a human HeV vaccine is essential for the biosecurity of Australia, as part of a multipronged strategy to control HeV in Australia.

Concepts: Immune system, Public health, Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Infection, Transmission and infection of H5N1, Measles


Dengue viruses (DENVs) cause the most common arthropod-borne viral disease in man with 50-100 million infections per year. Because of the lack of a vaccine and antiviral drugs, the sole measure of control is limiting the Aedes mosquito vectors. DENV infection can be asymptomatic or a self-limited, acute febrile disease ranging in severity. The classical form of dengue fever (DF) is characterized by high fever, headache, stomach ache, rash, myalgia, and arthralgia. Severe dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) are accompanied by thrombocytopenia, vascular leakage, and hypotension. DSS, which can be fatal, is characterized by systemic shock. Despite intensive research, the underlying mechanisms causing severe dengue is still not well understood partly due to the lack of appropriate animal models of infection and disease. However, even though it is clear that both viral and host factors play important roles in the course of infection, a fundamental knowledge gap still remains to be filled regarding host cell tropism, crucial host immune response mechanisms, and viral markers for virulence.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Virus, Malaria, Infection, Influenza, Fever, Dengue fever


Introduction: Milk consumption in Kenya supersedes other countries in East Africa. However, milk contamination with aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is common, but the magnitude of this exposure and the health risks are poorly understood and need to be monitored routinely. This study aimed at assessing the awareness, knowledge and practices of urban and peri-urban farmers about aflatoxins and determining the levels of aflatoxin contamination in on-farm milk in a selected area within Nairobi County. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken to assess aflatoxin contamination levels of milk in Kasarani sub-county. A total of 84 milk samples were collected from small-holder dairy farms and analyzed for AFM1 using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Results and Discussion: Ninety nine percent of the samples (83/84) analysed were contaminated with AFM1. The mean aflatoxin level was 84 ng/kg with 64% of the samples exceeding the EU legal limit of 50 ng/kg. Whereas 80% of the farmers were aware of aflatoxin, there was no correlation between farmers' knowledge and gender with AFM1 prevalence. Conclusion: This study concludes that AFM1 is a frequent contaminant in milk and there is need to enhance farmers awareness on mitigation.


The prevalence of antibiotic resistant faecal indicator bacteria from humans and food production animals has increased over the last decades. In Europe, resistance levels in Escherichia coli from these sources show a south-to-north gradient, with more widespread resistance in the Mediterranean region compared to northern Europe. Recent studies show that resistance levels can be high also in wildlife, but it is unknown to what extent resistance levels in nature conform to the patterns observed in human-associated bacteria.

Concepts: Bacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli, United Kingdom, Europe, Microorganism, Turkey, History of the Mediterranean region


Malaria is one of the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases in the world. More than 80% of the total populations are at risk of malaria in the 22 countries in Asia and the Pacific. South Asia alone is home to an estimated 1.4 billion people at risk of contracting malaria. Despite the remarkable progress in reducing the burden of malaria, evidence of the disease based on knowledge of the social and cultural contexts from a South Asian perspective is limited. Our objective was to understand the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about malaria in South Asian communities.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Southeast Asia, Demography, Sociology, World, Asia, South Asia, Central Asia


The danger surrounding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been well known for decades. Although MRSA was initially only associated with hospitals, livestock-associated MRSA is being increasingly connected to the way food-supplying animals are treated. However, little is yet known about farmers' risk awareness and their knowledge of MRSA. Hence, the goal of this study was to discover farmers' perceptions of MRSA.

Concepts: Staphylococcus aureus, Understanding, Antibiotic resistance, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcaceae


Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging viral zoonosis that impacts human and animal health. It is transmitted from animals to humans directly through exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissues of infected animals or via mosquito bites. The disease is endemic to Africa but has recently spread to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Our aim was to compare two major outbreaks of RVF in Saudi Arabia (2000) and Sudan (2007) from a One Health perspective.

Concepts: HIV, Malaria, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Bedouin, Jordan, Arabic language, Red Sea


The Netherlands faced a large Q fever epidemic from 2007 to 2010, in which thousands of people were tested for the presence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii as part of individual patient diagnosis. So far, only data of notified cases were used for the identification of high-risk areas, which can lead to misclassification of risk. Therefore, we identified high- and low-risk areas based on laboratory test results to make control measures more efficient.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Coxiella burnetii, Q fever, Control theory, Netherlands, Identification, Prostitution in the Netherlands, Liberalism