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CABI Reviews ; 17(052):1-24, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2186712


This review categorizes 62 zoonoses humans share with dogs based on their clinical, public health importance, and global distribution. Three categories were identified. Category 1 comprise the most widespread and public health important zoonoses and includes 13 zoonoses where dogs play an essential role in the maintenance and transmission of the infectious organisms. This category comprises Rabies lyssavirus, Leptospirosis, Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei spp., Clonorchis sinsensis, Opisthorchis viverrini, Paragonimus spp., Echinococcus granulosus, Echinococcus multilocularis, Taenia multiceps, Dracunculus medinensis, Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma spp., and Strongyloides stercoralis Category 2 includes 24 zoonoses of lesser public health importance in which human or dog behavior plays a major role in transmission. Category 2 includes,Microsporum spp Prevotella., Bacteroides spp., Porphyromonas spp., Bergeyella zoohelcum, Neisseria spp., Pasteurella spp., Capnocytophaga canimorsus, Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Salmonella spp., Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Yersina pestis, Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Dibothriocephalus latum, Spirometra spp., Schistosoma spp., Echinococcus canadensis, and Sarcoptes scabei var canis Category 3 includes human infection where the zoonotic infection link is rare but has occasionally implicated dogs. This category includes SARS-CoV-2,Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycobacterium spp., Corynebacterium spp., Coxiella burnetti, Helicobacter spp., Campylobacter spp., Brucella canis, Balantioides coli, Blastocystis hominis, Bacillus anthracis, Dipylidium caninum, Taenia spp., Trichuris vulpis, Gnathostoma spp., Thelazia spp., Dirofilaria spp., Onchocera lupi, Heterophyes heterophyes, Metagonimus spp., Fasciolopsis buski, Ctenocephalides felis, Cheyletiella spp., Otodectes cynotis, and Cochliomya homnivorax. Changes in human behavior and control of canine infection would reduce the public health importance of these zoonoses.

West Indian Medical Journal ; 70(Supplement 1):43-44, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2083977


Objective: Vaccine hesitancy became a global issue of public health importance following vaccine introduction for SARS-CoV-2 in early 2021. Here, we present the everchanging reasons for vaccine hesitancy in a Small Island Developing State which has an enviably high childhood vaccination rate for other vaccinatable infectious diseases. Design and Methods: Longitudinal data on the stated objections to vaccination were recorded from individuals living in all 6 parishes of Grenada from the introductions of vaccines to the country in February 2021 until mid-February 2022. Result(s): The expressed unwillingness to be vaccinated arose initially from a distrust of the speed of the production of vaccines, then the perceived blood clot risks from the AstraZeneca vaccine and numerous other factors including fear of needles, potential sterility, and a mistrust in the short and long term benefits of the vaccine. A second COVID-19 wave occurred in December which recorded approximately an equal number of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals becoming infected, which increased hesitancy. Increased vaccine uptake was observed when vaccines were expiring, with the introduction of vaccine choices, and vaccine mandates for entering restaurants, employment, and latterly, travel regulations. Conclusion(s): Despite being one of the first countries to receive vaccines, Grenada has recorded one of the lowest vaccine uptake rates in the region. The complex issues and lessons learned from frontline workers have shown that vaccine hesitancy in Grenada is multifactorial and constantly evolving. The key findings in this study can inform and help develop targeted public health measures regarding vaccination.

West Indian Medical Journal ; 70(Supplement 1):24-25, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2083897


Objective: SARS- CoV-2 has developed many variants that are responsible for causing the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years. Sequencing of the variants provides valuable clinical, epidemiological, and public health information. The aim of the study was to sequence positive SARSCoV- 2 cases to examine the variants circulating in Grenada. Method(s): This study was conducted from the outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in Grenada during August/September 2021 and December/January 2022. Nasopharyngeal samples were obtained from persons stored on ice, transported to the laboratory and processed within a few hours using qRTPCR, targeting the E gene. Aliquots of samples were stored at -80. and sequencing was performed using the MinIon MK1C sequencing platform. Only samples with a Ct value of = 25 were included in the study. Result(s): A total of 104 samples were sequenced (57 samples the from first wave, 47 from the second wave), variants were detected in 52 of these samples with their lineage. In the first wave, 20 samples (35.08%) were found to be the Delta variant (Ct values 11.3-21.15), whilst in the second wave, 32 samples (68.08%) were found to be of the Omicron variant (Ct values 11.57-24.66). Conclusion(s): Our data demonstrates that the first wave of COVID-19 in Grenada was due to the Delta variant in August/September 2021 and by the Omicron variant in December/February 2022. It also confirms that the 2022 wave of infection in Grenada was due to the omicron variant;the same variant predominates globally.

West Indian Medical Journal ; 70(Supplement 1):23-24, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2083879


Objective: Rapid antigen tests became an important surveillance method to identify individuals who were considered to be infective to others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Negative tests facilitated entry to large events and to access academic campuses. The sensitivity and specificity of the rapid test lent credibility to their role in helping to prevent transmission. Method(s): A voluntary and free rapid antigen test was implemented as a surveillance tool for individuals accessing a campus for a tertiary educational institution in Grenada following two mass screening programs in August/September 2021. Confirmatory diagnostic PCR tests were initially used for all rapid test positives. This practice was discontinued following a 100% concordance of positive results between the tests. Result(s): On suspicion of false-positive rapid tests, PCR tests were reinstituted in January 2022. Sixty-five percent of 42 rapid tests were discovered to be false-positive when using a new batch of rapid tests. Conclusion(s): Two outbreaks caused by the Delta and BA. 1 clade of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 were documented in Grenada in August/September 2021 and December/ February 2022, respectively. Mass screening programs, with isolation of positive cases and quarantine for contacts who were subsequently tested, were introduced. Initially, these were PCR tests, but subsequently, the rapid antigen test was used. The discovery of a large number of falsepositive rapid antigen tests reminds us that these tests are for surveillance and PCR tests remain the Gold Standard diagnostic test. All false-positive rapid test results came from a single batch of rapid antigen tests and are attributed to a manufacturing issue. Testing and subsequent isolation of positive cases and quarantine of contacts provided one of the non-pharmaceutical approaches to control COVID-19 in Grenada. Confidence in positive results, due to their implications remains paramount.

West Indian Medical Journal ; 70(Supplement 1):53-54, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2083612


Objective: In the summer of 2021, Grenada experienced its first wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an effective methodology to monitor the community spread of pathogens and has been implemented on numerous university campuses to identify potential outbreaks. Standardized effective methods to detect enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2 are needed to effectively utilize WBE, as most methods implemented have been validated for non-enveloped viruses. Design and Methods: Pseudomonas syringae bacteriophage (F6) was added to wastewater samples in triplicate to test the efficiency of the VIRuses ADsorption ELution method with two different conditions. Samples were either untreated (NT) or pre-treated with hydrochloric acid (HCl) to a pH of 3.5. The membrane filters were eluted with Tris- EDTA-NaCl buffer followed by Trizol RNA extraction and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction to quantify viral particles. This filtration method was implemented at a university campus in Grenada Results: The ratio of F6 Ct .R / PMMoV Ct .R for both treatments was calculated and compared using t-tests to evaluate significant differences. Results showed a mean ratio of 0.75 +/- 0.08 for the HCl treated sample compared to 0.86 +/- 0.06 for the non-treated sample. The results were statistically significant (p = 0.04). Conclusion(s): Membrane filtration using acidification (pH = 3.5) with HCl and elution with Tris-EDTA-NaCl buffer shows to be an effective methodology for the detection of enveloped viruses in WBE. The epidemiological and public health implications of this result will be presented.

West Indian Medical Journal ; 70(Supplement 1):24, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2083519


Objective: To provide an overview on the screening, diagnostic methods, sample collection and compare the cycle threshold values from RT-qPCR testing from March 2020 - January 2022 in Grenada. Method(s): Samples were collected through the SARSCoV- 2 surveillance/ screening programmes at St. George's University or through the Government of Grenada. Samples were collected via nasopharyngeal swabs or saliva collection devices and were tested via RT-qPCR or lateral flow antigen testing. Subsequent samples were taken the same day from individuals who tested positive on rapid antigen testing for RT-qPCR testing. The cycle threshold values were recorded for each positive sample identified through RT-qPCR testing. Result(s): The first mandated screening session from August - September 2021, showed a positivity rate of 1.3% followed by no positive cases in the second mandated screening session in October 2021. The prevalence corresponded closely within the wider Grenadian community. Exposed individuals during the Omicron wave had a higher viral load in comparison to other infected individuals in the previous Alpha and Delta waves. Conclusion(s): The developments in technology and increase in knowledge for the screening and diagnostic tools for SARS-CoV-2 continue to evolve. Screening and surveillance outcomes assist with public health decision making in a small island developing state.