Seroconversion for Infectious Pathogens among UK Military Personnel Deployed to Kenya, 2009-2014
PHE ePoster Library. Wright D. 09/12/17; 186516; 137
Mrs. Deborah Wright
Mrs. Deborah Wright
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Abstract
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Abstract Military personnel are a high risk group for contracting vector-borne and zoonotic infections, particularly during overseas deployments, when they may be exposed to endemic or emerging infections not prevalent in their native countries. Following on from our seroconversion study of troops deployed to Afghanistan 2008 - 2011 (1), a further study to identify possible seroconversion to vector-borne and zoonotic infections was undertaken among UK troops deployed to Kenya, where more than 7000 troops deploy for training exercises every year. We studied over 400 UK military personnel deployed between 2009-2014 and found that troops have been exposed to and showing seroconversion to the following infections; Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii, sand fly fever virus, leptospirosis or Hantavirus; none showed seroconversion for infection with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus although we did find one sample showing cross reactivity with our CCHF ELISA.A significant number of the seroconversions occurred asymptomatically in personnel who did not report illness, except for those with Leptospirosis. These results indicate that many exposures to infectious pathogens, and potentially infections resulting from those exposures, may go unreported. Our findings reinforce the need for continued surveillance of military personnel, for education of health care providers to help recognize and prevent illnesses and transmission of pathogens during and after overseas deployments.(1) Newman, E. N. C., Johnstone, P., Bridge, H., Wright, D., Jameson, L., Bosworth, A., … Hewson, R. (2014). Seroconversion for Infectious Pathogens among UK Military Personnel Deployed to Afghanistan, 2008-2011. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 20(12), 2015-2022. http://doi.org/10.3201/eid2012.131830
Abstract Military personnel are a high risk group for contracting vector-borne and zoonotic infections, particularly during overseas deployments, when they may be exposed to endemic or emerging infections not prevalent in their native countries. Following on from our seroconversion study of troops deployed to Afghanistan 2008 - 2011 (1), a further study to identify possible seroconversion to vector-borne and zoonotic infections was undertaken among UK troops deployed to Kenya, where more than 7000 troops deploy for training exercises every year. We studied over 400 UK military personnel deployed between 2009-2014 and found that troops have been exposed to and showing seroconversion to the following infections; Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii, sand fly fever virus, leptospirosis or Hantavirus; none showed seroconversion for infection with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus although we did find one sample showing cross reactivity with our CCHF ELISA.A significant number of the seroconversions occurred asymptomatically in personnel who did not report illness, except for those with Leptospirosis. These results indicate that many exposures to infectious pathogens, and potentially infections resulting from those exposures, may go unreported. Our findings reinforce the need for continued surveillance of military personnel, for education of health care providers to help recognize and prevent illnesses and transmission of pathogens during and after overseas deployments.(1) Newman, E. N. C., Johnstone, P., Bridge, H., Wright, D., Jameson, L., Bosworth, A., … Hewson, R. (2014). Seroconversion for Infectious Pathogens among UK Military Personnel Deployed to Afghanistan, 2008-2011. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 20(12), 2015-2022. http://doi.org/10.3201/eid2012.131830
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