Sreptococcus suis - The emergence of any new zoonotic infectious disease associated with high mortality is of global concern
April 12 2006 ~ Invasive Disease and Toxic Shock due to Zoonotic Streptococcus suis: An Emerging Infection in the East?
Shiranee Sriskandan*, Josh D. Slater
The emergence of any new zoonotic infectious disease associated with high mortality is of global concern, and there is an urgent need for better characterisation of the S. suis strains involved. Whether the Chinese strain has enhanced virulence per se is at present unclear; the increased mortality seen with the two Chinese outbreaks may simply reflect regional differences in mode of acquisition or in access to treatment. International collaboration between laboratories experienced in virulence analysis and molecular epidemiology is required in order to clarify differences between isolates circulating in different regions of the world.read in full from http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0030187
April 12 2006 ~ Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other Chinese institutions have published the first scientific details of the outbreak in 2005..
Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome Caused by Streptococcus suis Serotype 2
"....We report, to our knowledge for the first time, two outbreaks of STSS caused by SS2, a non-GAS streptococcus. The 2005 outbreak was associated with 38 deaths out of 204 documented human cases; the 1998 outbreak with 14 deaths out of 25 reported human cases. Most of the fatal cases were characterized by STSS; some of them by meningitis or severe septicemia. The molecular mechanisms underlying these human STSS outbreaks in human beings remain unclear and an objective for further study." http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0030151
April 11 2006 ~ Mutated Streptococcus suis could cause a pandemic
While fears over H5N1 mutating into a form that can affect humans seem to be receding, we read today of research in China that suggests there is potential for a pandemic from a pig disease bacterium that may have genetically changed . The work of lead author Tang Jiaqi of the Research Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command, China, is published in PLoS Medicine today (11 April).
Last year more than 200 people were infected in one single major outbreak in Sichuan province, and nearly one in five of them died with symptoms of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), which is usually caused by a different strain of Streptococcus bacteria. We read in www.scidev.net
"So far we do not have evidence for a direct link between the genetic difference and the higher lethality in China, but this possibility is very high," says Tang.(more warmwell references to streptococcus suis)
19th/20th January 2006 ~ streptoccus suis ~ A Hong Kong woman has been infected with the pig-borne disease that killed at least 40 people in China during 2005. http://news.inq7.net/world/index.php?index=1&story_id=63283
"HONG KONG -- A Hong Kong woman has been infected with a deadly pig-borne disease that last year killed at least 40 people in China, the government said Tuesday. Laboratory tests confirmed the 69-year-old woman was infected with streptococcus suis, the Department of Health said in a statement. It was the first case in the territory this year. The woman was admitted to a hospital on January 11 after suffering from fever and pains in the shoulder and feet, the statement said. She is now in stable condition. The Hong Kong woman hadn't recently traveled, and her family members were put under medical surveillance, the health department said. The streptococcus suis bacteria, commonly found in pigs, killed at least 38 people in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan last year. Hong Kong recorded 13 cases of the disease in 2005, including two fatalities. None of the cases were linked to the mainland. The bacteria is usually passed on through contact with raw pork or sick swine. The Chinese victims were mostly farmers who handled or butchered diseased pigs."
August 23 2005 ~ streptococcus suis " The Centre for Health Protection has received a Streptococcus suis infection report concerning a 62-year-old woman, bringing the year's total to 11. ... " Hong Kong news.gov.hk
August 22 2005 ~ streptoccocus suis: The Singapore paper, www.todayonline.com says "No new human cases of the virus have been reported since August 4 in China's Sichuan province, where it originally appeared, affecting a total of 204 people, the Xinhua news agency cited the ministries as saying in a report..."
August 17 2005 ~ streptococcus suis/avian influenza "The pig and bird diseases have raised questions about the over-aggressive use of antibiotics in animals as well as humans.... "Streptococcus pneumoniae is not only resistant to penicillin, its resistance to quinolones is becoming worse... scientists say such practices must be stopped or mankind will face a shrinking pool of antibiotics that work. ..." Reuters
August 14 2005 ~ "Streptococcus Suis bacteria infection has not been not ruled out..." The Hong Kong Standard says: "Shenzhen officials have confiscated 3,700 catties of pork from two meat markets and private residences without giving a clear reason..."
August 14 2005 ~ The streptococcus suis mystery deepens. Reporters have been banned from area."The death toll of the pig-borne endemic...had reached 37 as of 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, with one new death reported, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health," China's official Xinhua news agency reported. Xinhua's is currently the only version of events available to both Chinese and overseas reporters alike, according to Hong Kong reporters in Sichuan. "A circular has been issued by the Sichuan Provincial Propaganda Department...which forbids local press from sending reporters to the infected areas or hospitals," the Chinese-language Ming Pao reported. " See News Release Wire.com
August 9 2005 ~ streptoccus suis "....Chinese authorities have also arrested a couple in the Sichuan province city of Chongqing, who were caught with 3740 pounds of pork from sick pigs, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Mon 8 Aug 2005. It did not say whether the pigs were believed to have the same illness.
The latest victim, a man who has slaughtered pigs from Guangdong province's Yangjiang town, is hospitalized in serious condition......relatives and medical staff working on him have not shown symptoms of infection with _S. suis_, the type of bacterium blamed for the outbreak, said Hong Kong health department..." US news report
ProMed says, "To date, no clear explanation for this cluster, which is thought to be human infection with _S. suis_, has been brought forward. Increased bacterial inoculum (with or without increased toxin production, but not necessarily a new toxin) facilitated by selling dead, infected and previously buried swine may well be the major factor."
August 8 2005 ~ streptoccus suis "Some experts believe an overuse of antibiotics could be behind the outbreak by encouraging the bacteria to mutate into a new, drug-resistant strain.... According to Xinhua the government news agency in China, four officials have been sacked for trying to cover up the trail of dead pigs, early in an outbreak of a swine-borne disease that has killed 39 people in southwest China..." News Medical.net
August 4 2005 ~ WHO's page on streptococcus suis
August 3 2005 ~ Streptococcus suis is a name we may, unfortunately, become familiar with in the coming weeks. In Beijing, in one of the strongest measures yet taken to combat the streptococcus suis disease, authorities have impounded at least 4,000 tonnes of pork from areas affected by the outbreak. Reuters Alertnet
This pig disease has infected about 200 and killed over 30 people in China. A more analytical commentary on the questions and uncertainties surrounding this outbreak of disease can be seen on ProMed's latest posting which has commentary from no fewer than 5 of its moderators.
August 3 2005 ~scientists in Beijing have developed a test for streptococcus suis which takes just 4 hours to provide results.
ProMed reports "... the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine announced yesterday, 1 Aug 2005, it has developed a testing method to identify _Streptococcus suis_ in pigs in 4 hours. The technique, known as the "multiple PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing method," can be used to screen pigs in an "accurate and convenient" fashion, said a statement by an expert panel that assessed and approved the method ...." In yesterday's post, ProMed reports ".. Vaccines to combat a deadly pig-borne disease were flown to south-western China on Sunday [31 Aug 2005], where the spread of the rare illness has already killed 36 people and infected 198. The unusually high numbers of people infected by the swine disease has led scientists to speculate that it may be being spread from human-to-human or that another disease entirely is to blame. ........the size and virulence of this current outbreak, in the province of Sichuan, has taken the World Health Organization by surprise."
Media Blackout as Pig-Borne Disease Spreads
HONG KONG, August 13 2005
2005.08.03HONG KONG—Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have issued a media blackout order surrounding a fatal pig-borne disease, which has now spread to 10 cities, with at least 200 infections and dozens of fatalities."The death toll of the pig-borne endemic...had reached 37 as of 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, with one new death reported, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health," China's official Xinhua news agency reported.Xinhua's is currently the only version of events available to both Chinese and overseas reporters alike, according to Hong Kong reporters in Sichuan."A circular has been issued by the Sichuan Provincial Propaganda Department...which forbids local press from sending reporters to the infected areas or hospitals," the Chinese-language Ming Pao reported.Reporters banned from area"No amendments of Xinhua reports are allowed, including the headline," the paper said, citing local Chinese reporters.It said reports that the mystery disease, which is said by Chinese health authorities to be caused by a bacteria called swine streptococcus suis II, had reached the provincial capital of Chengdu had been relegated to the inside pages of the top provincial newspapers.According to Xinhua, 205 cases of the disease were reported as of Tuesday, with 159 confirmed and 46 suspected. Eighteen people had been discharged from hospital and 29 others were in critical condition, the agency said.An official with the Western Pacific arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) called the outbreak "very unusual"."Well at this time we are not really part of the team that is in Sichuan...but it is of course of concern to China and to us that there are so many cases of this outbreak. This is a highly unusual outbreak," the WHO spokesman said.Former senior doctor at the Provincial People's Hospital in the northern province of Shaanxi, Jin Fushen, told RFA's Mandarin service that he couldn't say for sure why the local authorities had banned reporters from covering the outbreak.Doctors slam lack of transparency"I think there are two aspects to this. One is that they don't want the journalists to spread the disease. The other is that they don't want the journalists to report on the reason that the disease is spreading," Jin told RFA reporter Yang Jiadai."But it's not really right not to let them go into the affected area...They're not likely to exaggerate the threat. Journalists have a responsibility. It's their job to report objectively and truthfully what is happening," he said.He said local journalists could play a helpful role for the government in helping to control this outbreak, which needed to be contained within a 10-kilometer radius of all known infections."In China farming families revolve around their pigs and cattle. There are many families who raise pigs. So if the 10-kilometer rule is not followed, more infections are going to result."And a former senior doctor at the Xuanwu District People's Hospital in Beijing, Yu Jianmei, said that during an outbreak of disease, the Chinese health authorities should understand very well the need not to keep the public in the dark.But in the heat of the moment, local officials were apt to see social stability as more important than anything, she said.Stability the chief concern"There are guidelines for outbreaks of disease, what to do, how to react, whether it's from a point of view of epidemiology, or from a public health perspective. The trouble with mainland China is that these guidelines will not be followed.""So they don't act in a scientific manner, which causes a lot of ill-feeling."Original reporting in Mandarin by Yan Ming and Yang Jiadai. RFA Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Produced for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie.
Sarah Jackson-Han (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director of Communications
Radio Free Asia
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