Published Date: 2005-07-27 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Streptococcus suis, porcine, human - China (Sichuan)
Archive Number: 20050727.2179
STREPTOCOCCUS SUIS, PORCINE, HUMAN - CHINA (SICHUAN)
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Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 13:28:11 +0100
From: Mary Marshall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: BBC [edited]
Deaths rise from Chinese disease
The human death toll from the swine bacterium _Streptococcus suis_ has
risen to 24 from a total of 117 people infected. Another 21 patients are
in a critical condition, suffering high fevers and internal bleeding.
There are still no specific drugs to treat the disease, which officials
believe infected people after they ate or handled contaminated
pigs. Doctors are relying on high doses of antibiotics to treat the
victims, who come from 40 townships in east Sichuan. The area has a
population of 7 million, in a 100-km (62-mile) belt stretching from the
cities of Ziyang to Neijiang.
More than 450 pigs infected with _Streptococcus suis_ have now been burned
in the area. 50 checkpoints are in place to prevent swine from being moved
Investigators suggest the infected pigs came from 300 small farms with poor
Transfer to humans is rare -- which makes the Sichuan mortality rate
In addition, this province is China's largest pig center, producing over 50
million swine annually.
The Sichuan government stresses larger breeding farms are not infected, and
that pig meat bound for the market place is safe.
In the affected region, billboards still boast that this is a national
model of a disease-free zone.
[Byline: Nick Mackie]
[No further morbidity and mortality information is available at this
point. Although a substantial case fatality rate has been recognized so
far, if the mechanism of pathogenesis here is elaboration of toxins, it is
likely that antimicrobials would not be as useful in established cases. In
a 2002 report (1), 110 strains of _S. suis_ from swine in France and 25
strains of the organism from humans (in different countries of origin) were
assessed for antimicrobial sensitivity. Macrolide and tetracycline
resistance was found in some strains, especially serotype 2, but the
beta-lactam class antimicrobial agents were active. Of note, among porcine
isolates, there was no correlation between antimicrobial resistance and
1. Marie J, Morvan H, Berthelot-Herault F, et al: Antimicrobial
susceptibility of _Streptococcus suis_ isolated from swine in France and
from humans in different countries between 1996 and 2000. J Antimicrob
Chemotherap 2002; 50:201-209.