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Concept: Saint Kitts and Nevis


BACKGROUND: Although tick-borne diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in dogs in tropical areas, there is little information on the agents causing these infections in the Caribbean. METHODOLOGY: We used PCRs to test blood from a cross-section of dogs on St Kitts for Ehrlichia (E.) canis, Babesia (B.) spp., Anaplasma (A.) spp. and Hepatozoon (H.) spp. Antibodies against E. canis and A. phagocytophilum/platys were detected using commercial immunochromatography tests. Records of the dogs were examined retrospectively to obtain clinical and laboratory data. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: There was serological and/or PCR evidence of infections of dogs with E. canis (27%; 46/170), Babesia spp. (24%; 90/372) including B. canis vogeli (12%; 43/372) and B. gibsoni (10%; 36/372), A. platys (11%; 17/157) and H. canis (6%; 15/266). We could not identify the Babesia sp. detected in nine dogs. There was evidence of multiple infections with dual infections with E. canis and B. canis vogeli (8%; 14/179) or B. gibsoni (7%; 11/170) being the most common. There was agreement between immunochromatography and PCR test results for E. canis for 87% of dogs. Only 13% of exposed dogs had signs of a tick-borne disease and 38% had laboratory abnormalities. All 10 dogs presenting for a recheck after treatment of E. canis with doxycycline were apparently healthy although all remained seropositive and six still had laboratory abnormalities despite an average of two treatments with the most recent being around 12 months previously. Infections with Babesia spp. were also mainly subclinical with only 6% (4/67) showing clinical signs and 13% (9/67) having laboratory abnormalities. Similarly, animals with evidence of infections with A. platys and H. canis were largely apparently healthy with only occasional laboratory abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Dogs are commonly infected with tick-borne pathogens in the Caribbean with most having no clinical signs or laboratory abnormalities.

Concepts: Apicomplexa, Lyme disease, Tick, Caribbean, Ehrlichiosis, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, Anguilla


Primates occupy a liminal space between humans and animals. On the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, translocated vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) are respected creatures, yet they cause problems. Vervets regularly consume crops on farms and are considered “pests”; still, Kittitians express empathy and understanding for them based largely on the monkeys' display of human-like behaviours. Using data from interviews with 64 Kittitian farmers, we deconstruct the symbolism of the vervet monkey in St. Kitts and analyse how farmers give the monkeys identities that are meaningful only within human social expectations. Our findings reveal that Kittitian farmers consider monkeys to be clever and emotive, displaying complex intentions such as revenge and remorse. Yet, crop-foraging behaviour is a regular and negative experience for the majority of farmers in this study, and the monkeys' presence itself is a constant reminder of the multitude of challenges farmers face in a newly adopted tourism economy that no longer prioritises agriculture. Our results reveal that while vervet crop consumption is a significant problem in St. Kitts, it is the monkeys' boundary-crossing status that drives the growing mentality that “the monkey problem” is completely out of control.

Concepts: Primate, Old World monkey, Chlorocebus, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Vervet Monkey


This systematic review summarises the data published on the Leptospira seroprevalence, serovar diversity and distribution among animal species in the Caribbean region. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, and checklist, relevant articles were identified and data were extracted and recorded. The review provided Leptospira seroprevalence data from 16 Caribbean islands (Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Saint Croix, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Antigua, Carriacou, Dominica, Guadalupe, Martinique, Monserrat, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Vincent) in a variety of animal species. Reviewing the literature highlighted the limited amount of data available from limited number of islands. Many of the studies conducted have recorded seroprevalences based on variable and small samples sizes. Besides, serovar panels used for MAT were not consistent between studies. The review indicates that the Leptospira exposure in a given geographic location may change with time and climatic and environmental conditions, and highlights the need to conduct continual surveillance in tropical countries where the climate supports the survival of Leptospira in the environment. Specific attention must be given to standardization of MAT panels and protocols and providing training across laboratories involved in testing. Further, animal and environment testing to isolate and identify circulating Leptospira spp. in geographic region must actively be pursued. This knowledge is important to implement geographically specific control programs, as risk factors of Leptospira transmission is favoured by various factors such by change in climatic conditions, urbanization, encroachment of wildlife inhabitation, import/export of animals, increase in adventure travel, and water related recreational activities.

Concepts: Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, West Indies Federation, Barbados, Saint Lucia


A 2010 World Health Assembly resolution called on member states to intensify efforts to address alcohol-related harm. Progress has been slow. This study aims to determine the magnitude of public support for 12 alcohol policies and whether it differs by country, demographic factors and drinking risk (volume consumed).

Concepts: New Zealand, Overseas Chinese, South America, Global Peace Index, Liberal democracies, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, British Empire


As there is little data on vector-borne diseases of cats in the Caribbean region and even around the world, we tested feral cats from St Kitts by PCR to detect infections with Babesia, Ehrlichia and spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) and surveyed them for antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii and Ehrlichia canis.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Rickettsia, France, Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, Anguilla, Indies


To characterize high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in a sample of women in two small English-speaking Caribbean countries: Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Concepts: English language, Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, Lesser Antilles, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenadines, Grenada


The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in St. Kitts and Nevis, islands of the West Indies, is unknown. We sought to determine estimates of CKD and its risk factors (e.g. diabetes, hypertension and obesity) in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Epidemiology, Hypertension, Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, Anguilla, Nevis


A small number of African green monkeys (AGM) were introduced from West Africa to the Caribbean in the 1600s. To determine the impact of this population bottleneck on the AGM virome, we used metagenomics to compare the viral nucleic acids in the plasma of 43 wild AGMs from West Africa (Gambia) to those in 44 AGMs from the Caribbean (St. Kitts and Nevis). Three viruses were detected in the blood of Gambian primates: Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVagm in 42% of animals), a novel simian pegivirus (SPgVagm, 7%), and numerous novel simian anelloviruses (100%). Only anelloviruses were detected in the Caribbean AGMs with a prevalence and level of viral genetic diversity similar to that in the Gambian animals. A host population bottleneck therefore resulted in the exclusion of adult-acquired SIV and pegivirus from the Caribbean AGMs. The successful importation of AGM anelloviruses into the Caribbean may be the result of their early transmission to infants, very high prevalence in African AGMs, and frequent co-infections with highly distinct variants.

Concepts: Virus, Africa, Primate, West Africa, Caribbean, Atlantic slave trade, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts


Pesticides are commonly used in tropical regions such as the Caribbean for both household and agricultural purposes. Of particular concern is exposure during pregnancy, as these compounds can cross the placental barrier and interfere with fetal development. The objective of this study was to evaluate exposure of pregnant women residing in 10 Caribbean countries to the following commonly used classes of pesticides in the Caribbean: organophosphates (OPs), carbamates, phenoxy acids, and chlorophenols. Out of 438 urine samples collected, 15 samples were randomly selected from each Caribbean country giving a total of 150 samples. Samples were analyzed for the following metabolites: six OP dialkylphosphate metabolites [dimethylphosphate (DMP), dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP), dimethyldithiophosphate (DMDTP), diethylphosphate (DEP), diethylthiophosphate (DETP) and diethyldithiophosphate (DEDTP)]; two carbamate metabolites [2-isopropoxyphenol (2-IPP) and carbofuranphenol]; one phenoxy acid 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); and five chlorophenols [2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP), 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP), 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (TCP), 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP), and pentachlorophenol (PCP)]. OP metabolites were consistently detected in ≥60% of the samples from Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, and Jamaica. Of the carbamate metabolites, 2-IPP was detected in seven of the 10 Caribbean countries with a detection frequency around 30%, whereas carbofuranphenol was detected in only one sample. The detection frequency for the phenoxy acid 2,4-D ranged from 20% in Grenada to a maximum of 67% in Belize. Evidence of exposure to chlorophenol pesticides was also established with 2,4-DCP by geometric means ranging from 0.52 μg L(-1) in St Lucia to a maximum of 1.68 μg L(-1) in Bermuda. Several extreme concentrations of 2,5-DCP were detected in four Caribbean countries-Belize (1100 μg L(-1)), Bermuda (870 μg L(-1)), Jamaica (1300 μg L(-1)), and St Kitts and Nevis (1400 μg L(-1)). 2,4,5-TCP, 2,4,6-TCP, and pentachlorophenol were rarely detected. This biomonitoring study underscores the need for Caribbean public health authorities to encourage their populations, and in particular pregnant women, to become more aware of the potential routes of exposure to pesticides and to utilize these chemicals more cautiously given the possible adverse effects such exposures can have on their unborn children and infants.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Fetus, Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Antigua


Past research suggests that perceived neighbourhood conditions may influence adolescents' emotional health. Relatively little research has been conducted examining the association of perceived neighbourhood conditions with depressive symptoms among Caribbean adolescents. This project examines the association of perceived neighbourhood conditions with levels of depressive symptoms among adolescents in Jamaica, the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent.

Concepts: Psychology, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Caribbean, Cuba, Hispaniola, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Kitts, British Empire