Disease Control
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2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Florence Mutua ◽  
Michel Dione

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly fatal disease of pigs. It is a threat to the pig industry as it lowers production and significantly impacts on livelihoods. ASF has no cure and a vaccine against it is yet to be developed. Outbreaks continue to be reported in Africa and Asia, where the setting of the pig value chain (farm, market, and slaughter practices) coupled with the risky behaviors of actors, contribute to persistence of the virus in pig populations. The role of these factors in the epidemiology of the disease is reviewed with a focus on smallholder pig systems in Africa. Biosecurity at the farm level is particularly emphasized, and factors influencing its adoption highlighted. Socio-cultural factors and weaknesses at the disease control policy level are critical and should not be ignored. Gender and equity are important aspects and ought to be considered in discussions to improve the sector. The findings are expected to define priorities for interventions to improve pig productivity (as these regions wait for the vaccine to be developed).

Clive H. Bock ◽  
Sarah J. Pethybridge ◽  
Jayme G. A. Barbedo ◽  
Paul D. Esker ◽  
Anne-Katrin Mahlein ◽  

AbstractPhytopathometry can be defined as the branch of plant pathology (phytopathology) that is concerned with estimation or measurement of the amount of plant disease expressed by symptoms of disease or signs of a pathogen on a single or group of specimens. Phytopathometry is critical for many reasons, including analyzing yield loss due to disease, breeding for disease resistance, evaluating and comparing disease control methods, understanding coevolution, and studying disease epidemiology and pathogen ecology. Phytopathometry underpins all activities in plant pathology and extends into related disciplines, such as agronomy, horticulture, and plant breeding. Considering this central role, phytopathometry warrants status as a formally recognized branch of plant pathology. The glossary defines terms and concepts used in phytopathometry based on disease symptoms or visible pathogen structures and includes those terms commonly used in the visual estimation of disease severity and sensor-based methods of disease measurement. Relevant terms from the intersecting disciplines of measurement science, statistics, psychophysics, robotics, and artificial intelligence are also included. In particular, a new, broader definition is proposed for “disease severity,” and the terms “disease measurement” and “disease estimate” are specifically defined. It is hoped that the glossary contributes to a more unified cross-discipline approach to research in, and application of the tools available to phytopathometry.

2021 ◽  
Roberta Koku ◽  
David R. Herndon ◽  
Johannetsy Avillan ◽  
Jillian Morrison ◽  
James E. Futse ◽  

Vector-borne pathogens commonly establish multi-strain infections, also called complex infections. How complex infections are established, either prior to or after the development of an adaptive immune response, termed co-infection or superinfection, respectively, has broad implications for the maintenance of genetic diversity, pathogen phenotype, epidemiology, and disease control strategies. Anaplasma marginale , a genetically diverse, obligate, intracellular tick-borne bacterial pathogen of cattle commonly establishes complex infections, particularly in regions with high transmission rates. Both co-infection and superinfection can be established experimentally, however it is unknown how complex infections develop in a natural transmission setting. To address this question, we introduced naïve animals into a herd in southern Ghana with high infection prevalence and high transmission pressure and tracked strain acquisition of A. marginale through time using multi-locus sequence typing. As expected, genetic diversity among strains was high and 97% of animals in the herd harboured multiple strains. All the introduced, naïve animals became infected, and three to four strains were typically detected in an individual animal prior to seroconversion, while one to two new strains were detected in an individual animal following seroconversion. On average, the number of strains acquired via superinfection was 16% less than those acquired via co-infection. Thus, while complex infections develop via both co-infection and superinfection, co-infection predominates in this setting. These findings have broad implications for the development of control strategies in high transmission settings.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
Yun Huang ◽  
Zeyu Zhang ◽  
Weijun Liao ◽  
Kuan Hu ◽  
Zhiming Wang

Background and AimAlthough the treatment effect and availability of therapeutic options for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are limited, the downstaging strategy may improve patient prognosis. This study aimed to investigate the potential of combination therapy as a downstaging strategy for treating advanced HCC with portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT).MethodsThis retrospective case series included patients having advanced HCC with PVTT, who received the combination therapy of sorafenib, camrelizumab, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE), and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) from January 2019 to December 2019 in Xiangya Hospital, Central South University. The downstaging rate, treatment responses, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), disease control rate, and toxicities were evaluated.ResultsOf the 13 patients, HCC downstaging was achieved in 4 (33.3%) patients who later received hepatectomy. The overall response rate was 41.7%, and the disease control rate was 50.0%. The median PFS time was 15.7 months, with a 1-year PFS rate of 58.3%, whereas the median OS was not reached after 1 year (1-year OS, 83.3%). No severe adverse events or grade 3–4 adverse effect was observed in 12 of the 13 enrolled patients; therapy had to be discontinued in only one patient due to adverse events, who was excluded from the study. The most common adverse effect was fever (n = 4, 33.3%), followed by skin reaction (n = 3, 25%).ConclusionA combination therapy comprising sorafenib, camrelizumab, TACE, and SBRT is an effective downstaging strategy for advanced HCC with PVTT and is associated with few adverse events.

Gianmarco Abbadessa ◽  
Giuseppina Miele ◽  
Paola Cavalla ◽  
Paola Valentino ◽  
Girolama Alessandra Marfia ◽  

Background: The kinetics of B cell repopulation in MS patients treated with Ocrelizumab is highly variable, suggesting that a fixed dosage and time scheduling might be not optimal. We aimed to investigate whether B cell repopulation kinetics influences clinical and radiological outcomes and whether circulating immune asset at baseline affects B cell repopulation kinetics. Methods: 218 MS patients treated with Ocrelizumab were included. Every six months we collected data on clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity and lymphocyte subsets at baseline. According to B cell counts at six and twelve months, we identified two groups of patients, those with fast repopulation rate (FR) and those with slow repopulation rate (SR). Results: A significant reduction in clinical and radiological activity was found. One hundred fifty-five patients had complete data and received at least three treatment cycles (twelve-month follow-up). After six months, the FR patients were 41/155 (26.45%) and 10/41 (29.27%) remained non-depleted after twelve months. FR patients showed a significantly higher percentage of active MRI scan at twelve months (17.39% vs. 2.53%; p = 0,008). Furthermore, FR patients had a higher baseline B cell count compared to patients with an SR (p = 0.02 and p = 0.002, at the six- and twelve-month follow-ups, respectively). Conclusion: A considerable proportion of MS patients did not achieve a complete CD19 cell depletion and these patients had a higher baseline CD19 cell count. These findings, together with the higher MRI activity found in FR patients, suggest that the Ocrelizumab dosage could be tailored depending on CD19 cell counts at baseline in order to achieve complete disease control in all patients.

2021 ◽  
Vol 6 ◽  
Erin E. Brown

This article employed a content analysis method utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Clear Communication Index to evaluate the quality and reliability of 15 patient organization websites designed for patients to access information about COVID-19. The objective of this content analysis was to assess the clarity of online communication of information on COVID-19 by patient organizations by determining how well the websites score for clarity and identify ways to improve the websites. This study suggests that the patient organization websites that were analyzed are not adequately designed to communicate relevant information about COVID-19 in meaningful and effective ways. The findings from this study will help reveal major deficits in the communication of COVID-19 health information on patient organization websites, identify best practices and improvements that can be made to enhance communication, and build on existing literature regarding e-health literacy and clear communication on public health websites.

Elizabeth Tham ◽  
Poh Lin Pauline Chan Ng ◽  
Alicia Kang ◽  
Liang Shen ◽  
Lydia Su Yin Wong

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (8) ◽  
pp. 1638
Shashika S. Hewavitharana ◽  
Emmi Klarer ◽  
Joji Muramoto ◽  
Carol Shennan ◽  
Mark Mazzola

Charcoal rot and Fusarium wilt, caused by Macrophomina phaseolina and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae, respectively, are major soil-borne diseases of strawberry that have caused significant crop losses in California. Anaerobic soil disinfestation has been studied as an industry-level option to replace soil fumigants to manage these serious diseases. Studies were conducted to discern whether Gramineae carbon input type, incubation temperature, or incubation duration influences the efficacy of this disease control tactic. In experiments conducted using ‘low rate’ amendment applications at moderate day/night temperatures (24/18 °C), and carbon inputs (orchard grass, wheat, and rice bran) induced an initial proliferation and subsequent decline in soil density of the Fusarium wilt pathogen. This trend coincided with the onset of anaerobic conditions and a corresponding generation of various anti-fungal compounds, including volatile organic acids, hydrocarbons, and sulfur compounds. Generation of these metabolites was associated with increases in populations of Clostridium spp. Overall, carbon input and incubation temperature, but not incubation duration, significantly influenced disease suppression. All Gramineae carbon inputs altered the soil microbiome and metabolome in a similar fashion, though the timing and maximum yield of specific metabolites varied with input type. Fusarium wilt and charcoal rot suppression were superior when anaerobic soil disinfestation was conducted using standard amendment rates of 20 t ha−1 at elevated temperatures combined with a 3-week incubation period. Findings indicate that anaerobic soil disinfestation can be further optimized by modulating carbon source and incubation temperature, allowing the maximum generation of antifungal toxic volatile compounds. Outcomes also indicate that carbon input and environmental variables may influence treatment efficacy in a target pathogen-dependent manner which will require pathogen-specific optimization of treatment protocols.

Medicina ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 57 (8) ◽  
pp. 779
Kuan-Ting Chen ◽  
Kun-Feng Tsai ◽  
Henry W. C. Leung ◽  
Agnes L. F. Chan ◽  
Shyh-Yau Wang ◽  

Background and Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) followed by lipiodol infusion in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). Materials and Methods: Thirty-two patients with advanced HCC and PVTT who received HAIC with regimens of cisplatin, mitomycin-C, and 5-fluorouracil followed by lipiodol infusion were enrolled. The primary efficacy endpoint was tumor response rate. The modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST) was used for assessment of treatment response. The secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS). Prognostic factors for survival also were evaluated. Results: The median OS and PFS were 11.9 and 9.5 months, respectively. Seventeen patients (53.1%) achieved objective response, and 23 patients (71.9%) achieved disease control. The length of survival in the responder and disease control groups was longer than in the non-responder and progressive disease groups after two cycles of HAIC (responder vs. non-responder: 16.5 vs. 7.9 months, p = 0.001; disease control vs. progressive disease: 12.3 vs. 5.6 months, p < 0.001) and after completing HAIC (responder vs. non-responder: 15.7 vs. 6.9 months, p = 0.001; disease control vs. progressive disease: 13.6 vs. 6.9 months, p < 0.001). Better survival was associated with Child-Pugh A liver function (p = 0.013), with early response to two HAIC cycles (p = 0.009), and with response (p = 0.02) and disease control (p = 0.001) after completing HAIC treatment. Conclusion: HAIC followed by lipiodol infusion is a safe and feasible treatment for advanced HCC with PVTT. Patients with early response could continue HAIC treatment with expected prolonged survival.

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