Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Update on streptococcus suis research and prevention in the era of antimicrobial restriction: 4th international workshop on s. suis
    Segura, Mariela ; Aragon, Virginia ; Brockmeier, Susan L. ; Gebhart, Connie ; Greeff, Astrid de; Kerdsin, Anusak ; O’Dea, Mark A. ; Okura, Masatoshi ; Saléry, Mariette ; Schultsz, Constance ; Valentin-Weigand, Peter ; Weinert, Lucy A. ; Wells, Jerry M. ; Gottschalk, Marcelo - \ 2020
    Pathogens 9 (2020)5. - ISSN 2076-0817
    Antimicrobials - Diagnosis - Epidemiology - Genomics - Public health - Streptococcus suis - Swine - Vaccine policies - Vaccines - Zoonosis

    Streptococcus suis is a swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent afflicting people in close contact with infected pigs or pork meat. Sporadic cases of human infections have been reported worldwide. In addition, S. suis outbreaks emerged in Asia, making this bacterium a primary health concern in this part of the globe. In pigs, S. suis disease results in decreased performance and increased mortality, which have a significant economic impact on swine production worldwide. Facing the new regulations in preventive use of antimicrobials in livestock and lack of effective vaccines, control of S. suis infections is worrisome. Increasing and sharing of knowledge on this pathogen is of utmost importance. As such, the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the infection, antimicrobial resistance, progress on diagnosis, prevention, and control were among the topics discussed during the 4th International Workshop on Streptococcus suis (held in Montreal, Canada, June 2019). This review gathers together recent findings on this important pathogen from lectures performed by lead researchers from several countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Thailand, The Netherlands, UK, and USA. Finally, policies and recommendations for the manufacture, quality control, and use of inactivated autogenous vaccines are addressed to advance this important field in veterinary medicine.

    Leptospira infection and shedding in dogs in Thailand
    Altheimer, Kerstin ; Jongwattanapisan, Prapaporn ; Luengyosluechakul, Supol ; Pusoonthornthum, Rosama ; Prapasarakul, Nuvee ; Kurilung, Alongkorn ; Broens, Els M. ; Wagenaar, Jaap A. ; Goris, Marga G.A. ; Ahmed, Ahmed A. ; Pantchev, Nikola ; Reese, Sven ; Hartmann, Katrin - \ 2020
    BMC Veterinary Research 16 (2020). - ISSN 1746-6148
    Canine - Culture - Dogs - ELISA - Leptospira - MAT - PCR - Risk factors - Seroprevalence - Zoonosis

    Background: Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonosis and has been recognized as a re-emerging infectious disease in humans and dogs, but prevalence of Leptospira shedding in dogs in Thailand is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine urinary shedding of Leptospira in dogs in Thailand, to evaluate antibody prevalence by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and to assess risk factors for Leptospira infection. In Northern, Northeastern, and Central Thailand, 273 stray (n = 119) or client-owned (n = 154) dogs from rural (n = 139) or urban (n = 134) areas were randomly included. Dogs that had received antibiotics within 4 weeks prior to sampling were excluded. No dog had received vaccination against Leptospira. Urine was evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specific for lipL32 gene of pathogenic Leptospira. Additionally, urine was cultured for 6 months in Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris (EMJH) medium. Antibodies were measured by ELISA and MAT against 24 serovars belonging to 15 serogroups and 1 undesignated serogroup. Risk factor analysis was performed with backwards stepwise selection based on Wald. Results: Twelve of 273 (4.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0-6.8%) urine samples were PCR-positive. In 1/273 dogs (0.4%; 95% CI: 0.01-1.1%) Leptospira could be cultured from urine. MAT detected antibodies in 33/273 dogs (12.1%; 95% CI: 8.2-16.0%) against 19 different serovars (Anhoa, Australis, Ballum, Bataviae, Bratislava, Broomi, Canicola, Copenhageni, Coxi, Grippotyphosa, Haemolytica, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Khorat, Paidjan, Patoc, Pyrogenes, Rachmati, Saxkoebing, Sejroe). In 111/252 dogs (44.0%; 95% CI: 37.9-50.2%) immunoglobulin M (IgM) and/or immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were found by ELISA. Female dogs had a significantly higher risk for Leptospira infection (p = 0.023). Conclusions: Leptospira shedding occurs in randomly sampled dogs in Thailand, with infection rates comparable to those of Europe and the USA. Therefore, the potential zoonotic risk should not be underestimated and use of Leptospira vaccines are recommended.

    Parasite load and site-specific parasite pressure as determinants of immune indices in two sympatric rodent species
    Hofmeester, Tim R. ; Bügel, Esther J. ; Hendrikx, Bob ; Maas, Miriam ; Franssen, Frits F.J. ; Sprong, Hein ; Matson, Kevin D. - \ 2019
    Animals 9 (2019)12. - ISSN 2076-2615
    Ecological immunology - Haptoglobin - Immune strategy - Natural antibodies - Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio - Parasitology - Rodents - Vector-borne pathogens - Zoonosis

    Wildlife is exposed to parasites from the environment. This parasite pressure, which differs among areas, likely shapes the immunological strategies of animals. Individuals differ in the number of parasites they encounter and host, and this parasite load also influences the immune system. The relative impact of parasite pressure vs. parasite load on different host species, particularly those implicated as important reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens, is poorly understood. We captured bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) at four sites in the Netherlands. We sampled sub-adult males to quantify their immune function, infestation load for ecto-and gastrointestinal parasites, and infection status for vector-borne microparasites. We then used regression trees to test if variation in immune indices could be explained by among-site differences (parasite pressure), among-individual differences in infestation intensity and infection status (parasite load), or other intrinsic factors. Regression trees revealed splits among sites for haptoglobin, hemagglutination, and body-mass corrected spleen size. We also found splits based on infection/infestation for haptoglobin, hemolysis, and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio. Furthermore, we found a split between species for hemolysis and splits based on body mass for haptoglobin, hemagglutination, hematocrit, and body-mass corrected spleen size. Our results suggest that both parasite pressure and parasite load influence the immune system of wild rodents. Additional studies linking disease ecology and ecological immunology are needed to understand better the complexities of host–parasite interactions and how these interactions shape zoonotic disease risk.

    Multi-host disease management: The why and the how to include wildlife
    Portier, Julien ; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie Pierre ; Hutchings, Mike R. ; Monchâtre-Leroy, Elodie ; Richomme, Céline ; Larrat, Sylvain ; Poel, Wim H.M. Van Der; Dominguez, Morgane ; Linden, Annick ; Santos, Patricia Tavares ; Warns-Petit, Eva ; Chollet, Jean Yves ; Cavalerie, Lisa ; Grandmontagne, Claude ; Boadella, Mariana ; Bonbon, Etienne ; Artois, Marc - \ 2019
    BMC Veterinary Research 15 (2019)1. - ISSN 1746-6148
    Coordination - Decision-making framework - Emerging infectious diseases - Europe - Integrated management - Policy making - Proportionate management - Risk assessment - Wildlife - Zoonosis

    In recent years, outbreaks caused by multi-host pathogens (MHP) have posed a serious challenge to public and animal health authorities. The frequent implication of wildlife in such disease systems and a lack of guidelines for mitigating these diseases within wild animal populations partially explain why the outbreaks are particularly challenging. To face these challenges, the French Ministry of Agriculture launched a multi-disciplinary group of experts that set out to discuss the main wildlife specific concepts in the management of MHP disease outbreaks and how to integrate wildlife in the disease management process. This position paper structures the primary specific concepts of wildlife disease management, as identified by the working group. It is designed to lay out these concepts for a wide audience of public and/or animal health officers who are not necessarily familiar with wildlife diseases. The group's discussions generated a possible roadmap for the management of MHP diseases. This roadmap is presented as a cycle for which the main successive step are: step 1-descriptive studies and monitoring; step 2-risk assessment; step 3-management goals; step 4-management actions and step 5-assessment of the management plan. In order to help choose the most adapted management actions for all involved epidemiological units, we integrated a decision-making framework (presented as a spreadsheet). This tool and the corresponding guidelines for disease management are designed to be used by public and health authorities when facing MHP disease outbreaks. These proposals are meant as an initial step towards a harmonized transboundary outbreak response framework that integrates current scientific understanding adapted to practical intervention.

    Prevalence of leptospira infection in rodents from Bangladesh
    Krijger, Inge M. ; Ahmed, Ahmed A.A. ; Goris, Marga G.A. ; Groot Koerkamp, Peter W.G. ; Meerburg, Bastiaan G. - \ 2019
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16 (2019)12. - ISSN 1661-7827
    Food safety - Leptospirosis - Reservoir - Rodents - Zoonosis

    Worldwide, Leptospira infection poses an increasing public health problem. In 2008, leptospirosis was recognised as a re-emerging zoonosis of global importance with South-East Asia being one of the most significant centres of the disease. Rodents are thought to be the most important host for a variety of Leptospira serovars. Because Bangladesh offers a suitable humid climate for the survival of these pathogenic bacteria, the presence of rodents could be a serious risk for human infection, especially in peri-urban areas or locations where food is stored. In order to gain more understanding of the multi-host epidemiology, a prevalence study was conducted in Comilla, Bangladesh to determine the presence of pathogenic Leptospira species in rodents. Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) and sequencing showed that 13.1% (61/465) of the trapped rodents were infected with pathogenic Leptospira. Sequencing of the qPCR products identified the presence of three species: Leptospira interrogans, Leptospira borgpetersenii, and Leptospira kirschneri. Rodents of the genus, Bandicota, were significantly more likely to be positive than those of the genus, Rattus and Mus. Our results confirm the importance of rodents as hosts of pathogenic Leptospira and indicate that human exposure to pathogenic Leptospira may be considerable, also in places where food (rice) is stored for longer times. This study emphasizes the need to improve rodent management at such locations and to further quantify the public health impacts of this neglected emerging zoonosis in Bangladesh.

    Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in wildlife, food-producing, and companion animals : a systematic review
    Köck, R. ; Daniels-Haardt, I. ; Becker, K. ; Mellmann, A. ; Friedrich, A.W. ; Mevius, D. ; Schwarz, S. ; Jurke, A. - \ 2018
    Clinical Microbiology and Infection 24 (2018)12. - ISSN 1198-743X - p. 1241 - 1250.
    Antibiotic resistance - Carbapenemase - Enterobacteriales - Epidemiology - Livestock - Zoonosis
    Objectives: The spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in healthcare settings challenges clinicians worldwide. However, little is known about dissemination of CRE in livestock, food, and companion animals and potential transmission to humans. Methods: We performed a systematic review of all studies published in the PubMed database between 1980 and 2017 and included those reporting the occurrence of CRE in samples from food-producing and companion animals, wildlife, and exposed humans. The primary outcome was the occurrence of CRE in samples from these animals; secondary outcomes included the prevalence of CRE, carbapenemase types, CRE genotypes, and antimicrobial susceptibilities. Results: We identified 68 articles describing CRE among pigs, poultry, cattle, seafood, dogs, cats, horses, pet birds, swallows, wild boars, wild stork, gulls, and black kites in Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The following carbapenemases have been detected (predominantly affecting the genera Escherichia and Klebsiella): VIM, KPC, NDM, OXA, and IMP. Two studies found that 33–67% of exposed humans on poultry farms carried carbapenemase-producing CRE closely related to isolates from the farm environment. Twenty-seven studies selectively screened samples for CRE and found a prevalence of <1% among livestock and companion animals in Europe, 2–26% in Africa, and 1–15% in Asia. Wildlife (gulls) in Australia and Europe carried CRE in 16–19%. Conclusions: The occurrence of CRE in livestock, seafood, wildlife, pets, and directly exposed humans poses a risk for public health. Prospective prevalence studies using molecular and cultural microbiological methods are needed to better define the scope and transmission of CRE.
    Knowledge gaps and research priorities in the prevention and control of hepatitis E virus infection
    Poel, W.H.M. Van der; Dalton, H.R. ; Johne, R. ; Pavio, N. ; Bouwknegt, M. ; Wu, T. ; Cook, N. ; Meng, X.J. - \ 2018
    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 65 (2018)S1. - ISSN 1865-1674 - p. 22 - 29.
    Hepatitis E virus - HEV research priorities - Zoonosis
    Hepatitis E virus (HEV), family Hepeviridae, is a main cause of epidemic hepatitis in developing countries and sporadic and cluster cases of hepatitis in industrialized countries. There are an increasing number of reported cases in humans especially in industrialized countries, and there is a high potential for transboundary spread of zoonotic genotypes of the virus through the transport of pigs, pig products and by-products. Bloodborne transmission of the virus has been reported with a significant medical concern. To better coordinate HEV research and design better control measures of HEV infections in animals, a group of HEV experts reviewed the current knowledge on the disease and considered the existing disease control tools. It was concluded that there is a lack of in-depth information about the spread of the virus from pigs to humans. The role of animals other than pigs in the zoonotic transmission of the virus to humans and the extent of foodborne transmission are poorly understood. Factors involved in development of clinical disease such as infectious dose, susceptibility and virulence of virus strains need to be studied more extensively. However, such studies are greatly hindered by the absence of a broadly applicable, efficient and sensitive in vitro cell culture system for HEV. Diagnostic tools for HEV are available but need to be further validated, harmonized and standardized. Commercially available HEV vaccines for the control of HEV infection in animal populations are needed as such vaccines can minimize the zoonotic risk for humans. Anti-HEV drugs for treatment of HEV-infected patients need to be studied more extensively. The detailed expert review can be downloaded from the project website at
    Temporal and spatial analysis of psittacosis in association with poultry farming in the Netherlands, 2000-2015
    Hogerwerf, Lenny ; Holstege, Manon M.C. ; Benincà, Elisa ; Dijkstra, Frederika ; Hoek, Wim van der - \ 2017
    Bmc Infectious Diseases 17 (2017)1. - ISSN 1471-2334
    Avian chlamydiosis - Poultry - Psittacosis - Spatial analysis - Zoonosis
    Background: Human psittacosis is a highly under diagnosed zoonotic disease, commonly linked to psittacine birds. Psittacosis in birds, also known as avian chlamydiosis, is endemic in poultry, but the risk for people living close to poultry farms is unknown. Therefore, our study aimed to explore the temporal and spatial patterns of human psittacosis infections and identify possible associations with poultry farming in the Netherlands. Methods: We analysed data on 700 human cases of psittacosis notified between 01-01-2000 and 01-09-2015. First, we studied the temporal behaviour of psittacosis notifications by applying wavelet analysis. Then, to identify possible spatial patterns, we applied spatial cluster analysis. Finally, we investigated the possible spatial association between psittacosis notifications and data on the Dutch poultry sector at municipality level using a multivariable model. Results: We found a large spatial cluster that covered a highly poultry-dense area but additional clusters were found in areas that had a low poultry density. There were marked geographical differences in the awareness of psittacosis and the amount and the type of laboratory diagnostics used for psittacosis, making it difficult to draw conclusions about the correlation between the large cluster and poultry density. The multivariable model showed that the presence of chicken processing plants and slaughter duck farms in a municipality was associated with a higher rate of human psittacosis notifications. The significance of the associations was influenced by the inclusion or exclusion of farm density in the model. Conclusions: Our temporal and spatial analyses showed weak associations between poultry-related variables and psittacosis notifications. Because of the low number of psittacosis notifications available for analysis, the power of our analysis was relative low. Because of the exploratory nature of this research, the associations found cannot be interpreted as evidence for airborne transmission of psittacosis from poultry to the general population. Further research is needed to determine the prevalence of C. psittaci in Dutch poultry. Also, efforts to promote PCR-based testing for C. psittaci and genotyping for source tracing are important to reduce the diagnostic deficit, and to provide better estimates of the human psittacosis burden, and the possible role of poultry.
    Hepatitis E Virus in Farmed Rabbits, Wild Rabbits and Petting Farm Rabbits in the Netherlands
    Burt, Sara A. ; Veltman, Jorg ; Hakze-van der Honing, Renate ; Schmitt, Heike ; Poel, Wim H.M. van der - \ 2016
    Food and Environmental Virology 8 (2016)3. - ISSN 1867-0334 - p. 227 - 229.
    Hepatitis E - HEV - Rabbits - Zoonosis

    Rabbits have been suggested as a zoonotic source of Hepatitis E virus. Phylogenetic analysis of HEV isolates from farmed, wild and pet rabbits in the Netherlands (23, 0, and 60 % respectively) showed them to be grouped amongst published rabbit HEV sequences and distinct from most human isolates. Dutch rabbits are unlikely to be a zoonotic source.

    Carriage of extended-spectrum β-lactamases in pig farmers is associated with occurrence in pigs
    Dohmen, W. ; Bonten, M.J.M. ; Bos, M.E.H. ; Marm, S. van; Scharringa, J. ; Wagenaar, J.A. ; Heederik, D.J.J. - \ 2015
    Clinical Microbiology and Infection 21 (2015)10. - ISSN 1198-743X - p. 917 - 923.
    Animal reservoirs - Animals - Antimicrobial resistance - CTX-M - Epidemiology - Escherichia coli - Zoonosis

    Livestock may serve as a reservoir for extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of carriage with ESBL-PE in pig farmers, family members and employees, and its association with carriage in pigs. Rectal swabs were taken from 2388 pigs (398 pooled samples) on 40 pig farms and faecal samples were obtained from 142 humans living or working on 34 of these farms. Presence of ESBL-PE was determined by selective plating (agar). ESBL genes were analysed by PCR or microarray analysis, and gene sequencing. Genotypes and plasmids were determined by multilocus sequence typing and PCR-based replicon typing for selected isolates. ESBL genes were detected in Escherichia coli from eight humans (6%) (blaCTX-M-1, n = 6; blaTEM-52, n = 1 and blaCTX-M-14, n = 1) on six farms. In 157 pig isolates (107 pooled samples) on 18 farms (45%) ESBL genes were detected (blaCTX-M-1, n = 12; blaTEM-52, n = 6; and blaCTX-M-14, n = 3). Human and pig isolates within the same farm harboured similar ESBL gene types and had identical sequence and plasmid types on two farms (e.g. E. coli ST-453, blaCTX-M-1, IncI1), suggesting clonal transmission. For the remaining farms, sequence types, but not plasmid types, differed. Human ESBL carriage was associated with average number of hours working on the farm per week (OR = 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06) and presence of ESBLs in pigs (OR = 12.5, 95% CI 1.4-111.7). Daily exposure to pigs carrying ESBL-PE is associated with ESBL carriage in humans.

    Coxiella burnetii infections in sheep or goats : An opinionated review
    Brom, R. Van den; Engelen, E. van; Roest, H.I.J. ; Hoek, W. van der; Vellema, P. - \ 2015
    Veterinary Microbiology 181 (2015)1-2. - ISSN 0378-1135 - p. 119 - 129.
    Coxiella burnetii - Goat - Q fever - Sheep - Zoonosis

    Q fever is an almost ubiquitous zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, which is able to infect several animal species, as well as humans. Cattle, sheep and goats are the primary animal reservoirs. In small ruminants, infections are mostly without clinical symptoms, however, abortions and stillbirths can occur, mainly during late pregnancy. Shedding of C. burnetii occurs in feces, milk and, mostly, in placental membranes and birth fluids. During parturition of infected small ruminants, bacteria from birth products become aerosolized. Transmission to humans mainly happens through inhalation of contaminated aerosols. In the last decade, there have been several, sometimes large, human Q fever outbreaks related to sheep and goats. In this review, we describe C. burnetii infections in sheep and goats, including both advantages and disadvantages of available laboratory techniques, as pathology, different serological tests, PCR and culture to detect C. burnetii. Moreover, worldwide prevalences of C. burnetii in small ruminants are described, as well as possibilities for treatment and prevention. Prevention of shedding and subsequent environmental contamination by vaccination of sheep and goats with a phase I vaccine are possible. In addition, compulsory surveillance of C. burnetii in small ruminant farms raises awareness and hygiene measures in farms help to decrease exposure of people to the organism. Finally, this review challenges how to contain an infection of C. burnetii in small ruminants, bearing in mind possible consequences for the human population and probable interference of veterinary strategies, human risk perception and political considerations.

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