An outbreak of fever associated with myalgia and myositis occurred in 2012 among 89 of 92 college students and teachers who visited Pangkor Island, Malaysia. The Sarcocystis nesbitti 18S rRNA gene and sarcocysts were obtained from muscle tissues of 2 students. Our findings indicate emergence of S. nesbitti infections in humans in Malaysia.
We conducted cross-sectional and longitudinal studies to determine the distribution of and risk factors for seropositivity to Nipah virus (NiV) among Pteropus vampyrus and P. hypomelanus bats in Peninsular Malaysia. Neutralizing antibodies against NiV were detected at most locations surveyed. We observed a consistently higher NiV risk (odds ratio 3.9) and seroprevalence (32.8%) for P. vampyrus than P. hypomelanus (11.1%) bats. A 3-year longitudinal study of P. hypomelanus bats indicated nonseasonal temporal variation in seroprevalence, evidence for viral circulation within the study period, and an overall NiV seroprevalence of 9.8%. The seroprevalence fluctuated over the study duration between 1% and 20% and generally decreased during 2004-2006. Adult bats, particularly pregnant, with dependent pup and lactating bats, had a higher prevalence of NiV antibodies than juveniles. Antibodies in juveniles 6 months-2 years of age suggested viral circulation within the study period.
Human infections with Nipah virus in Malaysia and Bangladesh are associated with markedly different patterns of transmission and pathogenicity. To compare the 2 strains, we conducted an in vivo study in which 2 groups of ferrets were oronasally exposed to either the Malaysia or Bangladesh strain of Nipah virus. Viral shedding and tissue tropism were compared between the 2 groups. Over the course of infection, significantly higher levels of viral RNA were recovered from oral secretions of ferrets infected with the Bangladesh strain. Higher levels of oral shedding of the Bangladesh strain of Nipah virus might be a key factor in onward transmission in outbreaks among humans.
A cholera outbreak in Terengganu, Malaysia, in November 2009 was caused by 2 El Tor Vibrio cholerae variants resistant to typical antimicrobial drugs. Evidence of replacement of treatable V. cholerae infection in the region with antimicrobial-resistant strains calls for increased surveillance and prevention measures.
Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic paramyxovirus that causes fatal encephalitis in humans. The initial outbreak of NiV infection occurred in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998-1999; relatively small, sporadic outbreaks among humans have occurred in Bangladesh since 2001. We characterized the complete genomic sequences of identical NiV isolates from 2 patients in 2008 and partial genomic sequences of throat swab samples from 3 patients in 2010, all from Bangladesh. All sequences from patients in Bangladesh comprised a distinct genetic group. However, the detection of 3 genetically distinct sequences from patients in the districts of Faridpur and Gopalganj indicated multiple co-circulating lineages in a localized region over a short time (January-March 2010). Sequence comparisons between the open reading frames of all available NiV genes led us to propose a standardized protocol for genotyping NiV; this protcol provides a simple and accurate way to classify current and future NiV sequences.
In March 2011, an outbreak of acute respiratory disease was reported at the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Police Training Centre. Approximately 100 trainees were hospitalized and 5 were admitted to the intensive care unit. Three of these 5 trainees died. Human adenovirus type 7 was identified as the etiologic agent.
Plasmodium knowlesi can cause severe malaria in adults; however, descriptions of clinical disease in children are lacking. We reviewed case records of children (age <15 years) with a malaria diagnosis at Kudat District Hospital, serving a largely deforested area of Sabah, Malaysia, during January-November 2009. Sixteen children with PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi monoinfection were compared with 14 children with P. falciparum monoinfection diagnosed by microscopy or PCR. Four children with knowlesi malaria had a hemoglobin level at admission of <10.0 g/dL (minimum lowest level 6.4 g/dL). Minimum level platelet counts were lower in knowlesi than in falciparum malaria (median 76,500/μL vs. 156,000/mL; p = 0.01). Most (81%) children with P. knowlesi malaria received chloroquine and primaquine; median parasite clearance time was 2 days (range 1-5 days). P. knowlesi is the most common cause of childhood malaria in Kudat. Although infection is generally uncomplicated, anemia is common and thrombocytopenia universal. Transmission dynamics in this region require additional investigation.
To determine effects of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 on children in the tropics, we examined characteristics of children hospitalized for this disease in Malaysia. Of 1,362 children, 51 (3.7%) died, 46 of whom were in an intensive care unit. Although disease was usually mild, ≥ 1 concurrent conditions were associated with higher death rates.
The simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi causes severe human malaria; the optimal treatment remains unknown. We describe the clinical features, disease spectrum, and response to antimalarial chemotherapy, including artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate, in patients with P. knowlesi malaria diagnosed by PCR during December 2007-November 2009 at a tertiary care hospital in Sabah, Malaysia. Fifty-six patients had PCR-confirmed P. knowlesi monoinfection and clinical records available for review. Twenty-two (39%) had severe malaria; of these, 6 (27%) died. Thirteen (59%) had respiratory distress; 12 (55%), acute renal failure; and 12, shock. None experienced coma. Patients with uncomplicated disease received chloroquine, quinine, or artemether-lumefantrine, and those with severe disease received intravenous quinine or artesunate. Parasite clearance times were 1-2 days shorter with either artemether-lumefantrine or artesunate treatment. P. knowlesi is a major cause of severe and fatal malaria in Sabah. Artemisinin derivatives rapidly clear parasitemia and are efficacious in treating uncomplicated and severe knowlesi malaria.
We isolated and characterized Nipah virus (NiV) from Pteropus vampyrus bats, the putative reservoir for the 1998 outbreak in Malaysia, and provide evidence of viral recrudescence. This isolate is monophyletic with previous NiVs in combined analysis, and the nucleocapsid gene phylogeny species.
Ancestral sylvatic dengue virus type 1, which was isolated from a monkey in 1972, was isolated from a patient with dengue fever in Malaysia. The virus is neutralized by serum of patients with endemic DENV-1 infection. Rare isolation of this virus suggests a limited spillover infection from an otherwise restricted sylvatic cycle.
Influenza outbreaks during mass gatherings have been rarely described, and detailed virologic assessment is lacking. An influenza outbreak occurred during World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, July 2008 (WYD2008). We assessed epidemiologic data and respiratory samples collected from attendees who sought treatment for influenza-like illness at emergency clinics in Sydney during this outbreak. Isolated influenza viruses were compared with seasonal influenza viruses from the 2008 influenza season. From 100 infected attendees, numerous strains were identified: oseltamivir-resistant influenza A (H1N1) viruses, oseltamivir-sensitive influenza A (H1N1) viruses, influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and strains from both influenza B lineages (B/Florida/4/2006-like and B/Malaysia/2506/2004-like). Novel viruses were introduced, and pre-WYD2008 seasonal viruses were amplified. Viruses isolated at mass gatherings can have substantial, complex, and unpredictable effects on community influenza activity. Greater flexibility by public health authorities and hospitals is required to appropriately manage and contain these outbreaks.
After orangutans in Indonesia were reported as infected with Plasmodium cynomolgi and P. vivax, we conducted phylogenetic analyses of small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences of Plasmodium spp. We found that these orangutans are not hosts of P. cynomolgi and P. vivax. Analysis of >or=1 genes is needed to identify Plasmodium spp. infecting orangutans.
The 1999 outbreak of Nipah virus encephalitis in humans and pigs in Peninsular Malaysia ended with the evacuation of humans and culling of pigs in the epidemic area. Serologic screening showed that, in the absence of infected pigs, dogs were not a secondary reservoir for Nipah virus.
We tested the fluoroquinolone susceptibility of 499 Salmonella enterica isolates collected from travelers returning to Finland during 2003-2007. Among isolates from travelers to Thailand and Malaysia, reduced fluoroquinolone susceptibility decreased from 65% to 22% (p = 0.002). All isolates showing nonclassical quinolone resistance were from travelers to these 2 countries.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) outbreaks occur periodically in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2006, Brunei reported its first major outbreak of EV71 infections, associated with fatalities from neurologic complications. Isolated EV71 strains formed a distinct lineage with low diversity within subgenogroup B5, suggesting recent introduction and rapid spread within Brunei.