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BACKGROUND The Hajj is the oldest and largest annual mass gathering in the world and may increase the risk of spread of respiratory viruses. METHODS We performed a prospective survey among a cohort of pilgrims departing from Marseille, France, to Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the 2012 Hajj season. Nasal swabs were collected from(More)
Most circulating strains of Human enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) have been classified primarily into three genogroups (A to C) on the basis of genetic divergence between the 1D gene, which encodes the VP1 capsid protein. The aim of the present study was to provide further insights into the diversity of the EV-A71 genogroups following the recent description of(More)
BACKGROUND In France, there was a reluctance to accept vaccination against the A/H1N1 pandemic influenza virus despite government recommendation and investment in the vaccine programme. METHODS AND FINDINGS We examined the willingness of different populations to accept A/H1N1 vaccination (i) in a French hospital among 3315 employees immunized either by(More)
Real-time PCR techniques are now commonly used for the detection of viral genomes in various human specimens and require for validation both external and internal controls (ECs and ICs). In particular, ICs added to clinical samples are necessary to monitor the extraction, reverse transcription, and amplification steps in order to detect false-negative(More)
Pilgrims returning from the Hajj might contribute to international spreading of respiratory pathogens. Nasal and throat swab specimens were obtained from 129 pilgrims in 2013 before they departed from France and before they left Saudi Arabia, and tested by PCR for respiratory viruses and bacteria. Overall, 21.5% and 38.8% of pre-Hajj and post-Hajj(More)
BACKGROUND Clinical microbiology may direct decisions regarding hospitalization, isolation and anti-infective therapy, but it is not effective at the time of early care. Point-of-care (POC) tests have been developed for this purpose. METHODS AND FINDINGS One pilot POC-lab was located close to the core laboratory and emergency ward to test the proof of(More)
Human enteroviruses (HEV) are frequent human pathogens and, associated in particular with large outbreaks of aseptic meningitis. Here, we have compiled a database of clinical HEV isolates from the Public Hospitals of Marseille, from 1985 to 2005. Amongst 654 isolates that could be characterized by complete sequencing of the VP1 gene, 98% belonged to species(More)
To the Editor: Saudi Arabia has reported the highest number of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases since the virus first emerged in 2012, with >127 confirmed cases and a case-fatality rate of 42%, as of November 2013 (1). Global attention has focused on the potential for spread of MERS-CoV after the Hajj pilgrimage during which(More)
BACKGROUND In April 2009, the first cases of pandemic (H1N1)-2009 influenza [H1N1sw] virus were detected in France. Virological surveillance was undertaken in reference laboratories of the seven French Defence Zones. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We report results of virological analyses performed in the Public Hospitals of Marseille during the first(More)