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Volume 1(1); December 2010
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Congratulatory Messages
Congratulatory Message
Jong-Koo Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):1-1.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.001
  • 1,271 View
  • 31 Download
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Congratulatory Message
Hae-Wol Cho
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):2-2.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.002
  • 1,106 View
  • 19 Download
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Congratulatory Message
Soo-hee Chin
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):3-3.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.003
  • 1,107 View
  • 19 Download
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Review Article
The Effect of Global Warming on Infectious Diseases
Ichiro Kurane
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):4-9.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.004
  • 1,529 View
  • 20 Download
  • 38 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Global warming has various effects on human health. The main indirect effects are on infectious diseases. Although the effects on infectious diseases will be detected worldwide, the degree and types of the effect are different, depending on the location of the respective countries and socioeconomical situations.Among infectious diseases, water- and foodborne infectious diseases and vector-borne infectious diseases are two main categories that are forecasted to be most affected. The effect on vector-borne infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue fever is mainly because of the expansion of the infested areas of vector mosquitoes and increase in the number and feeding activity of infected mosquitoes. There will be increase in the number of cases with water- and foodborne diarrhoeal diseases.Even with the strongest mitigation procedures, global warming cannot be avoided for decades. Therefore, implementation of adaptation measures to the effect of global warming is the most practical action we can take. It is generally accepted that the impacts of global warming on infectious diseases have not been apparent at this point yet in East Asia. However, these impacts will appear in one form or another if global warming continues to progress in future. Further research on the impacts of global warming on infectious diseases and on future prospects should be conducted.
Original Articles
Molecular Classification of Human Adenovirus Type 7 Isolated From Acute Respiratory Disease Outbreak (ARD) in Korea, 2005–2006
Wan Ji Lee, Chun Kang, Yoon Seok Chung, Kisoon Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):10-16.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.005
  • 1,465 View
  • 21 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
To assess the genomic characteristics of human adenoviruses (HAdVs) that caused small-scale epidemics in Korea and compare sequence analysis and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).
Methods
Two hundred sixty-two throat swabs were collected from geographically distinct two cohabitation facilities during outbreaks in August 2005 and February–May 2006. 148 isolates were obtained using the adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549 cells) from 262 specimens. The sequences of 448 bp partial hexon gene of isolates were analized and compared with serotype results using neutralizing test. The hexon (1.2 kb), fiber, and E4 ORF 6/7 34.7 kDa protein (2.1 kb) genes were further analysed in 10 randomly selected specimens. RFLP of the genomic DNA for genotyping was also performed and compared with sequence information.
Results
All the isolates were localized into the same cluster when phylogenetic tree was generated based on hexon gene using Clustal W. While fiber and E4 ORF 6/7 34.7 kDa protein genes were analysed, the tree was divided into two clusters. Interestingly, isolates with same genetic characteristics of hexon gene did not show identical RFLP patterns in accordance with their origin of episode, rather phylogenetic analysis of fiber and E4 ORF 6/7 34.7 kDa protein genes were correlated with RFLP patterns.
Conclusion
These results indicate that serotype classification based on hexon gene might not be enough to discriminate HAdV serotype, and additional genetic characteristics including fiber and/or E4 ORF 6/7 should be recruited to dispose subgroup of HAdV serotype.
Serum Homocysteine and Folate Levels are Associated With Late-life Dementia in a Korean Population
Ju Hee Song, Moon Ho Park, Changsu Han, Sangmee A. Jo, Kyungsook Ahn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):17-22.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.006
  • 1,233 View
  • 14 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We aimed to determine whether serum levels of homocysteine (Hcy) and its biological determinants, folate and vitamin B12, are related to cognitive decline in elderly people.
Methods
The concentrations of total Hcy, folate, and vitamin B12 were measured in serum samples from 424 cognitively normal controls, 382 mild cognitive impairment patients, and 56 dementia patients from Ansan Geriatric cohort. The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) neuropsychological battery was used to evaluate cognitive functions.
Results
The dementia patients had higher serum Hcy (dementia, 17.6 ± 6.9 μmol/L; control, 12.9 ± 5.0 μmol/L; p < 0.001) and lower serum folate (dementia, 7.9 ± 4.8 ng/mL; control, 10.0 ± 7.1 ng/mL; p = 0.034) levels compared with controls. There was an inverse relationship between Hcy levels and serum folate or vitamin B12 concentrations. The cognitive status as measured by the (CERAD) score was inversely related to Hcy levels. The adjusted odds ratio of dementia was 5.18 (95% confidence interval: 1.91–14.10; p = 0.001) for moderate (30 ≥ Hcy > 15) hyperhomocysteinemia compared with normal Hcy levels (≤15 μmol/L). In addition, there was weak association between low serum folate (<3.0 ng/mL) and the risk for dementia (crude odds ratio = 3.68; 95% confidence interval: 1.07–12.69; p = 0.039).
Conclusion
Elevated serum Hcy and decreased serum folate concentrations are associated with the risk of dementia in Korean elders.
Surveillance and Control of Rubella in the Republic of Korea From 2001 to 2009: The Necessity for Enhanced Surveillance to Monitor Congenital Rubella Syndrome
Young June Choe, Sang Taek Lee, Kyung Min Song, Heeyeon Cho, Geun-Ryang Bae, Jong-Koo Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):23-28.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.007
  • 1,318 View
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  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The aim of this study was to review the epidemiologic data of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) supplied by surveillance systems from 2001 to 2009 and to propose measures to improve the quality of the surveillance system in the Republic of Korea.
Methods
The epidemiological data for rubella and CRS cases reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2001 to 2009 were retrospectively reviewed, and insurance reimbursement data from the Korea National Health Insurance Review Agency were collected for comparison.
Results
The number of yearly reported rubella cases to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2001 to 2009 was 128, 24, 8, 24, 15, 12, 35, 30, and 36, respectively. The occurrence of rubella shifted to a slightly higher age group during the 9-year period, i.e. from 0–9 years to 10–19 years. Among the 309 reported rubella cases, three were confirmed cases of CRS. In addition, according to data sourced from Health Insurance Review Agency, 24, 19, 19, 9, and 5 CRS cases were reported for medical insurance reimbursement from 2005 to 2009, respectively.
Conclusion
According to available surveillance data, the reported cases of rubella and CRS were not high, but a more detailed surveillance with emphasis on susceptible women of childbearing age is necessary for better monitoring and control of rubella and CRS in the Republic of Korea.
Distribution of Virulence Genes and Their Association of Serotypes in Pathogenic Escherichia coli Isolates From Diarrheal Patients in Korea
Seung-Hak Cho, Kyung-Hwan Oh, Seong-Han Kim, Hee-Bok Oh, Mi-Sun Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):29-35.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.008
  • 1,449 View
  • 15 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
To characterise the genetic and serological diversity of pathogenic Escherichia coli, we tested 111 E coli strains isolated from diarrhoeal patients in Korea between 2003 and 2006.
Methods
The isolates were tested through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and slide agglutination method for the detection of virulence genes and serotypes, respectively. To compare the expression of Shiga toxin (stx)-1 and stx2 genes, real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR and rapid exprssion assay, reversed-passive latex agglutination, were performed.
Results
Forty-nine Shiga toxin-producing E coli (STEC) strains and 62 non-STEC strains, including 20 enteropathogenic E coli, 20 enterotoxigenic E coli, 20 enteroaggregative E coli, and 2 enteroinvasive E coli were randomly chosen from the strains isolated from diarrhoeal patients in Korea between 2003 and 2006. PCR analysis indicated that locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island, that is, eaeA, espADB, and tir genes were present in STEC, enteropathogenic E coli, and enteroinvasive E coli. Quorum sensing-related gene luxS was detected in most of pathogenic E coli strains. Major serotypes of the STEC strains were O157 (26%) and O26 (20%), whereas the non-STEC strains possessed various serotypes. Especially, all the strains with serotype O157 carried stx2 and the tested virulence factors. Of the STEC strains, the data of real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR and reversed-passive latex agglutination tests showed that messenger RNA- and protein expression of stx2 gene were higher than those of stx1 gene.
Conclusion
Our results provide the epidemiological information regarding the trend of STEC and non-STEC infections in the general population and show the fundamental data in association of serotypes with virulence genes in diarrhoeagenic E coli strains from Korea.
Gene Expression and Identification Related to Fluconazole Resistance of Candida glabrata Strains
Jae Il Yoo, Chi Won Choi, Kyeong Min Lee, Yeong Seon Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):36-41.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.009
  • 1,212 View
  • 15 Download
  • 8 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Candida glabrata has become one of the most common causes of Candida bloodstream infections worldwide. Some strains of C. glabrata may be intermediately resistant to all azoles. The several possible mechanisms of azole resistance have been reported previously, but the exact resistant mechanism is not clear. In this study, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of fluconazole-resistant C. glabrata and compared the gene expression of fluconazole-resistant strains with that of fluconazole-susceptible strains to identify gene corresponding to fluconazole resistance.
Methods
Using antifungal susceptibility test, several C. glabrata strains were selected and used for further study. The expression of CgCDR1 and CgCDR2 genes was investigated by slot hybridization against fluconazole-susceptible, -resistant, and resistant-induced strains. In addition, ERG3 and ERG11 genes were sequenced to analyze DNA base substitution. DEGs were identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using DEG kit composed of 120 random primers.
Results
In slot hybridization, CgCDR1 gene was expressed more than CgCDR2 gene in resistant strains. Though base substitution of ERG11 and ERG3 genes was observed in several base sequences, just one amino acid change was identified in resistant strain. In the results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, 44 genes were upregulated and 34 genes were downregulated. Among them, adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter-related genes, fatty acid desaturase, lyase, and hypothetical protein genes were upregulated and aldehyde dehydrogenase, oxidoreductase, and prohibitin-like protein genes were downregulated. Other DEGs were also identified.
Conclusion
This study showed that CgCDR1 gene was more closely related to fluconazole resistance of C. glabrata than CgCDR2 gene. In addition, several other genes related with fluconazole resistance of C. glabrata were identified.
Prevalence of Clonorchis sinensis Infections Along the Five Major Rivers in Republic of Korea, 2007
Hyun-Kyung Kim, Hyeng-Il Cheun, Byung-Suk Cheun, Ki-Yeon Lee, Tong-Soo Kim, Sang-Eun Lee, Won-ja Lee, Shin-Hyeong Cho
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):43-49.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.010
  • 1,229 View
  • 11 Download
  • 19 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The prevalence of Clonorchis sinensis infection was investigated among residents of the five major river basins, that is, Hangang, Nakdonggang, Seomjingang, Yeongsangang, and Geumgang River basins in Korea.
Methods
From January to December 2007, a total of 31,268 stool samples were collected from 29 localities and examined by the formalin-ether sedimentation technique.
Results
Intestinal parasite eggs and/or protozoan cysts were detected from 2957 (9.5%) inhabitants. Number of residents harbouring helminth eggs in the faeces was 2542 (8.1%) for C. sinensis, 255 (0.8%) for Heterophyes spp., 36 (0.1%) for Echinostoma spp., 30 (0.1%) for Trichuris trichiura, 8 (0.03%) for Ascaris lumbricoides, 7 (0.02%) for Gymnophalloide seoi, and 50 (0.02%) for Trichostrongylus orientalis. Number of residents harbouring protozoan cysts in the faeces was 133 (1.3%) for Entamoeba spp. and 50 (0.2%) for Giardia lamblia. The positive rates of C. sinensis in Nakdonggang, Seomjingang, Yeongsangang, Geumgang, and Hangang River basins were 12.2%, 9.5%, 3.3%, 3.0%, and 1.0%, respectively. The egg positive rate of C. sinensis was higher in male (10.6%) than in female (6.1%), and the age group of 50s had the highest positive rate (10.4%).
Conclusion
The result of this study revealed little decrease in positive rate of C. sinensis compared with the result of southern endemic areas of Korea in 2006.
Brief Reports
Trends in Water- and Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in Korea, 2007–2009
Jin Gwack, Kyoung-Chan Lee, Hyo Jin Lee, Wooseok Kwak, Dong Woo Lee, Yeon Hwa Choi, Jin Seok Kim, Young Ah Kang
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):50-54.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.011
  • 1,425 View
  • 13 Download
  • 14 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
In Korea, every outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in two or more patients who are epidemiologically related is investigated by local public health centres to determine causative agents and control the outbreak with the support of the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions of each outbreak investigation have been summarized annually since 2007 to make reports and statistics of water- and foodborne disease outbreaks.
Methods
All outbreaks reported to Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2007 to 2009 were included in the study. We analysed the trends and epidemiologic aspects of outbreaks by month, year, and location.
Results
The total number of outbreaks decreased steadily each year for the period the study covered, whereas the number of patients per outbreak continued to increase resulting from a dramatic increase in the number of patients per outbreak in food service establishments. The outbreaks occurred in the period of June to September, when temperature and humidity are relatively high, which accounted for 44.3% of total outbreaks. The monthly number of outbreaks decreased steadily until November after peaking in May 2009. The most common causative agent was norovirus (16.5%) followed by pathogenic Escherichia coli. The rate of causative agent identification was 60.1%, with higher identification rates in larger outbreaks.
Conclusions
Although a decreasing trend of outbreaks by year was observed in the study, the food services in schools and companies require more attention to hygiene and sanitation to prevent large outbreaks. The ability to establish the cause of an outbreak should be further improved.
Epidemiological Characteristics of Scrub Typhus in Korea, 2009
Sunja Kim, Jin Seok Kim, Hagyung Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):55-60.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.012
  • 1,419 View
  • 19 Download
  • 15 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Currently, the incidence of scrub typhus has increased in urban areas. In this study, we described the epidemiological characteristics of scrub typhus cases reported in the urban areas of Korea in 2009.
Methods
We analysed the case investigation reports of scrub typhus cases that were collected in Korea in 2009. Specially, the different risk factors such as fieldwork and outdoor activity were compared to urban and rural areas, and six urban cities. Statistical analysis was performed using χ2 test.
Results
A total of 4,461 cases (including 1,663 suspected cases) were analysed in this study. Among these, the case reports of 4,254 cases had complete addresses. The cases with outdoor activities were 720 (85.2%) in urban areas. In Daegu and Daejeon, the number of cases participated in outdoor activities was 32 (34.4%) and 23 (31.5%), respectively. In other urban areas, cases with outdoor activities were more than 85%.
Conclusion
The most common infection risk factor was outdoor activity in urban areas. However, the proportion and distribution of outdoor activities were different in urban areas. These results will be used to establish strategies for effective prevention and management in urban areas.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives