• Effectiveness of 2010/2011 seasonal influenza vaccine in Ireland.

      Barret, A S; Donnell, J O; O'Hora, A; Collins, C; Coughlan, S; Joyce, M; Moran, J; Waters, A; O'Malley, A; Domegan, L; et al. (2012-02)
      We conducted a case-control study to estimate the 2010/2011 trivalent influenza vaccine effectiveness (TIVE) using the Irish general practitioners' influenza sentinel surveillance scheme. Cases were influenza-like illness (ILI) patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Controls were ILI patients who tested negative for influenza. Participating sentinel general practitioners (GP) collected swabs from patients presenting with ILI along with their vaccination history and other individual characteristics. The TIVE was computed as (1 - odds ratiofor vaccination) x100%. Of 60 sentinel GP practices, 22 expressed interest in participating in the study and 17 (28%) recruited at least one ILI patient. In the analysis, we included 106 cases and 85 controls. Seven controls (8.2%) and one influenza case (0.9%) had been vaccinated in 2010/2011. The estimated TIVE against any influenza subtype was 89.4% [95% CI: 13.8; 99.8%], suggesting a protective effect against GP-attended laboratory confirmed influenza. This study design could be used to monitor influenza vaccine effectiveness annually but sample size and vaccination coverage should be increased to obtain precise and adjusted estimates.
    • Outbreak of shigellosis in Irish holidaymakers associated with travel to Egypt.

      McKeown, Paul; O'Connor, Maire; McDonnell, Gavin; Di Renzi, Massimiliano; Foley, Barbara; Garvey, Patricia; McNamara, Eleanor; Codd, Susan; Cosgove, Catherine; de la Harpe, Davida; et al. (2005)
    • Pertussis outbreak in northwest Ireland, January - June 2010.

      Barret, A S; Ryan, A; Breslin, A; Cullen, L; Murray, A; Grogan, J; Bourke, S; Cotter, S; Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), Dublin, Ireland. annesophie.barret@hse.ie (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2010-09-02)
      We report a community pertussis outbreak that occurred in a small town located in the northwest of Ireland. Epidemiological investigations suggest that waning immunity and the absence of a booster dose during the second year of life could have contributed to the outbreak. The report also highlights the need to reinforce the surveillance of pertussis in Ireland and especially to improve the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of cases.
    • Update of Clostridium difficile infection due to PCR ribotype 027 in Europe, 2008.

      Kuijper, E J; Barbut, F; Brazier, J S; Kleinkauf, N; Eckmanns, T; Lambert, M L; Drudy, D; Fitzpatrick, F; Wiuff, C; Brown, D J; et al. (2008-07-31)
      Outbreaks of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) with increased severity, high relapse rate and significant mortality have been related to the emergence of a new, hypervirulent C. difficile strain in North America and Europe. This emerging strain is referred to as PCR ribotype 027 (Type 027). Since 2005, individual countries have developed surveillance studies about the spread of type 027.C. difficile Type 027 has been reported in 16 European countries. It has been responsible for outbreaks in Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland). It has also been detected in Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Poland and Spain. Three countries experienced imported patients with CDI due to Type 027 who acquired the infection abroad.The antimicrobial resistance pattern is changing, and outbreaks due to clindamycin-resistant ermB positive Type 027 strains have occurred in three European countries. Ongoing epidemiological surveillance of cases of CDI, with periodic characterisation of the strains involved, is required to detect clustering of cases in time and space and to monitor the emergence of new, highly virulent clones.