Saturday, October 23, 2010

IDSA Video Conference: What’s The Next Big Problem?




# 5004




As the weekend progresses I’m working my way through the IDSA press conferences conducted over the past two days from the IDSA’s 48th Annual meeting held in Vancouver.


I’ve just finished watching the 45 minute presentation:


IDSA: What's the Next Big Problem?


The meeting program lists this conference this way:


James Hughes, MD, IDSA President-Elect, Director of the Program in Global Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta


Eleni Galanis, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Physician Epidemiologist, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver

Charles Y. Chiu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center, San Francisco

Rangaraj Selvarangan, BVSc, PhD, Director, Microbiology & Virology Laboratories, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.

Julie Harris, PhD, MPH, Staff Epidemiologist, Mycotics Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

Monika Naus, MD, MHSc, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Medical Director, Immunization Programs, Associate Medical Director, Epidemiology Services, Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia
Highlighted Abstracts:

  • #196 Identification of a Novel Adenovirus Associated with a Deadly Outbreak in a Titi Monkey Colony [Full Abstract]

  • #602 Human Parechovirus- Central Nervous System Infection in Young Children From Midwestern USA [Full Abstract]

  • #642 Public Health Surveillance for Cryptococcus Gattii: An Emerging Disease in the United States Pacific Northwest [Full Abstract]

  • #685 An Outbreak of Measles in British Columbia, Canada: An Unwelcome Consequence of the 2010 Winter Olympics [Full Abstract]



The media has picked up on the Novel Adenovirus jumping from monkeys to a researcher over the past 24 hours - giving it considerable play - probably because it reminds one of the discovery of Reston Ebola that was detailed so effectively in `The Hot Zone’.


New Virus 'Jumps' From Monkey to Scientist, Causing Serious Illness

Adenovirus strain is under study but experts say there's no immediate cause for alarm

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A never-before detected strain of virus that killed more than one-third of a monkey colony at a U.S. lab appears to have 'jumped' from the animals to sicken a human scientist, researchers report.

(Continue . . . .)



While it certainly appears that this previous-unknown adenovirus infected a researcher (and unlike Ebola Reston, caused serious illness) it does not appear to have been transmitted from human-to-human outside of the lab.


This is the first adenovirus that has been credibly shown to cross species, and certainly gives one pause when you consider the recent emergence of other zoonotic pathogens.


Obviously an intriguing story, and one that deserves further investigation, but one that doesn’t appear to have any serious public health implications at this time.


Another presentation concerned the emergence of Cryptococcus Gattii, a tropical fungus that has over the past decade, mysteriously shown up in the Pacific Northwest.


You may recall I wrote about this infection last April in A Fungus Among Us.  It, like Coccidioidomycosis and Histoplasmosis can produce serious illness – particularly in immunocompromised individuals.



Other presentations covered Human Parechovirus and a measles outbreak in British Columbia that was likely contracted during outdoor events during the 2010 Winter Olympics.



These press conferences are a terrific way to get a `short course’ on several fascinating infectious disease studies that were presented this week at the IDSA conference.


And serves as a reminder that each year we seem to find new emerging (or sometimes re-emerging) infectious diseases to deal with.


You can view the other press conferences using the links below.  Highly recommended:


IDSA: When Patients Don't Know They Have HIV

IDSA: The Global Reach of Infectious Disease

IDSA: Influenza, Beyond the Pandemic

IDSA: Protecting the Children

IDSA: Foodborne and Related Diseases

IDSA: What's the Next Big Problem?

IDSA: Battling Superbugs

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