SciCombinator

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Concept: Saint Kitts

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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

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Abstract Numerous myxozoan cysts (~1 mm) were found in the musculature of blackfin tuna (Thunnus atlanticus) harvested off the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Myxospores were consistent with quadrate members of the Kudoidae, measuring 8.8 (8.2-9.4) µm wide, 7.3 (6.6-8.3) µm thick and 6.2 (5.8-6.9) µm long with 4 uniform drop-like polar capsules measuring 2.7 (2.2-3.2) µm long and 2.0 (1.7-2.2) µm wide. The 18S small-subunit (SSU) and 28S large-subunit (LSU) ribosomal DNA sequences did not result in direct matches to any published sequences. However, the SSU sequences (1,786 bp) obtained from 6 individual cysts were identical and demonstrated high homology to Kudoa thunni (99.0%) from albacore (Thunnus alalunga). Alternatively, 33 unique sequences were obtained for the LSU (~800 bp), demonstrating 0.1 to 5.0% variability between them, although a majority of these sequences (60%) demonstrated high homology (>99%) to K. thunni. Morphologically, the case isolate was smaller than published descriptions of K. thunni, however, rDNA sequence homology, and phylogenetic placement based on concatenated SSU and LSU rDNA sequences suggests this case isolate and K. thunni are conspecific. To our knowledge this is the first report of K. thunni infection in blackfin tuna from the Caribbean.

Concepts: Caribbean, Tuna, Thunnus, Scombridae, Yellowfin tuna, Saint Kitts, Albacore, Blackfin tuna

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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

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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

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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

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Although canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine enteric coronavirus (CCoV) are important enteric pathogens of dogs and have been studied extensively in different parts of the world, there are no reports on these viruses from the Caribbean region. During 2015-2016, a total of 104 diarrheic fecal samples were collected from puppies and adult dogs, with or without hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts (KNA). By PCR, 25 (24%, n=104) samples tested positive for CPV. Based on analysis of the complete deduced VP2 amino acid sequences, 20 of the KNA CPV strains were assigned to new CPV-2a (also designated as CPV-2a-297A). On the other hand, the VP2 genes of the remaining 5 strains were partially characterized, or could not be sequenced. New CPV-2a was the predominant CPV variant in St. Kitts, contrasting the molecular epidemiology of CPV variants reported in most studies from nearby North and South American countries. By RT-PCR, CCoVs were detected in 5 samples (4.8%, n=104). Based on analysis of partial M-protein gene, the KNA CCoV strains were assigned to CCoV-I genotype, and were closely related to CCoV-I strains from Brazil. To our knowledge, this is the first report on detection and genetic diversity of CPV and CCoV in dogs from the Caribbean region, and underscores the importance of similar studies in the other Caribbean islands.

Concepts: Gene, Virus, North America, South America, France, Caribbean, Saint Kitts, Barbados

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Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of global importance. Very little information is available on Leptospira infection in nonhuman primates. We report herein a high seroprevalence (49.4%; 95% confidence interval: 41.6-57.2%) to Leptospira serovars in vervet monkeys ( Chlorocebus sabeus) on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts. Monkeys bred in captivity ( n = 81) had a significantly higher seroprevalence compared to wild-caught monkeys ( n = 81; p < 0.05). Seroprevalence to serovar Bataviae was significantly higher in monkeys bred in captivity and was higher to serovar Bratislava in wild-caught monkeys ( p < 0.05). Our data confirm that exposure to various Leptospira serovars and seroconversion occurs in wild and captive vervet monkeys on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts. Further studies are warranted to better understand epidemiology, transmission, pathology, and possible reservoir status in this species.

Concepts: Primate, North America, Caribbean, Leptospirosis, Chlorocebus, Saint Kitts, Anguilla, Vervet Monkey

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Equines in the West Indies are used for recreational purposes, tourism industry, racing and agriculture or can be found in feral populations. Little is known in the Caribbean basin about the prevalence of some major equine infectious diseases, some with zoonotic potential, listed as reportable by the OIE. Our objective was to study the prevalence of antibodies for West Nile Virus (WNV), Equine Herpes Virus-1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4), Equine Influenza (EI), Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) and Equine Infectious Anemia Virus (EIAV) using a retrospective serological convenience study. We used 180 equine serum samples, 140 from horses and 40 from donkeys in St. Kitts, Nevis, and Sint Eustatius, collected between 2006-2015 that were tested with ELISA kits and virus neutralization (for WNV and EVA). Combining ELISA with virus neutralization testing, 25 (13.8%) equine sera were WNV positive (a mixture of indigenous and imported equines) and 3 sera (1.6%) showed doubtful results. For EHV-1, 41 equines (23.7%), mean age 6.7 years, were seropositive. For EHV-4, 138 equines were found seropositive (82.8%), mean age 6.3 years. For EI, 49 equines (27.2%), mean age 7.5 years, were seropositive on ELISA, some previously vaccinated horses. No antibodies against EAV were found on virus neutralization testing, although one animal (0.6%), was EAV positive on ELISA. All samples were EIAV negative. The seroprevalence for EHV-1 and EHV-4 is similar to other parts of the world. For the first time in the study location serologic evidence of antibodies against WNV and EI is reported. This was found in both indigenous and imported animals, highlighting the need for developing proper surveillance plans based on complementary methods of virus detection. Further studies will be needed to define the prevalence, rates of transmission, characterize local virus strains, and study their impact on these populations.

Concepts: Influenza, Caribbean, West Nile virus, Saint Kitts, Netherlands Antilles, Leeward Islands, Horse diseases, Saint Martin

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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

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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