Monthly Archives: August 2011

Editor’s Pick by Amber: CMV – the SILENT RESIDENT

We are introducing a new regular section of the JIDC Blog entitled Editor’s Pick.  In this section JIDC Scientific Editor Amber Farooqui will choose an article from each month’s issue and give a short write-up to readers about the article.  Amber’s Pick for the August Issue is a Review Article from Jain and colleagues entitled “Cytomegalovirus infection in non-immunosuppressed critically ill patients.”  I am thrilled to have Amber as part of the JIDC Blog team and I look forward to reading her monthly picks.


What if we don’t realize the silent resident!

Do “YOU KNOW WHO”? Who is that living among us?  Are we aware?………. Certainly, I am NOT talking about the apparitions, ghosts or Lord Voldemort. People like me have nightmares about the bugs that easily dodge the immune surveillance system of our bodies.  These immune invisible bugs can remain silent for long periods of time and include such viruses as Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

CMV Picture from NIST

The CMV virus, which was discovered in 1921 as a cause of swollen cells, has now become an emerging health concern in immune-compromised individuals.  Due to the failure of the immune army to purge this virus, CMV poses serious health threats to HIV/AIDS patients and other immunocompromised individuals while silently enjoying the leisure of the immunocompetent bodies.

It is believed that CMV is ubiquitously present in all humans. The myth behind the latent infection is that the virus is able to impair antigen presentation in a variety of immune cell populations where pathogenic reactivation is believed to be triggered by immunosuppression. In recent years CMV reactivation has been widely observed in those debilitated patients who are categorized as immunocompetent by the hard-core definition, thus making clinical management more difficult. At this stage, it is difficult to determine how CMV reactivation occurs in such cases but the situation indicates that more people than previously thought are at risk of CMV reactivation.

Would you like to read more about CMV? This month JIDC delivers a  must-read review article by Jain et al. that summarizes the important aspects of CMV infection in non-immunosuppressed critically ill patients. The authors discuss the phenomena behind pathogenesis and host immune responses to the infection and provide a comprehensive review of clinicoepidemiological studies. You will also find a detailed discussion about the clinical management and diagnostic strategies of the infection.

H&E staining of lung sections by D Wiedbrauk, Ph.D., Ann Arbor, MI.
H E staining of lung sections by D Wiedbrauk shows CMV infection

Click here. Believe me; it’s worth reading this article.

Amber is from Karachi, Pakistan and she completed both her Bachelors of Science and PhD (2008) at the Karachi University.  She is now a Postdoctoral Scientist at the International Institute of Infection and Immunity in Shantou, China.  She is also a Scientific Editor for the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries.  Amber’s area of specialty is Influenza viruses and the host immune response. You can contact Amber at with any questions or comments.  She is always looking for scientific discussions!

Amber Farooqui


Filed under Amber, CMV, Editor's Pick, JIDC News, People, Viruses

Open Access Week Members and Open Access T-shirts!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on the JIDC Blog that JIDC has joined Open Access week (OA week).   We have a group page on the OA week website and hope that JIDC members and non-members will join us in OA week and our OA week group.

As participants of OA week, JIDC members have received OA week T-shirts!  I love these T-shirts.  And to share the excitement with JIDC OA group members, we are giving away OA week T-shirts as well as T-shirts for JIDC!  The JIDC T-shirts will be revealed soon!  For now you can see the design for the OA week T-shirt at the left.

JIDC OA group members will be randomly chosen the first week of October 2011 to receive free OA and JIDC T-shirts.   The winners will be announced Friday October 7th!  The number of shirts to be given away will depend on the number of members in the group.  More members, more T-shirts!    

To become a member of the OA week JIDC group:

  1. Go to the Open Access week website
  2. Sign Up for Open Access week
  3. Go to Groups
  4. Find the JIDC group page
  5. Click on Join Open Access JIDC

Being a part of OA week is important to JIDC, as we are an Open Access journal.  We are proud to have Open Access status and agree with the philosophy of Free Knowledge.  I especially like the quote on the OA week T-shirt, “Everybody’s knowledge, nobody’s property”.

In my Open Access Week T-shirt

Here you can see me wearing my OA T-shirt.  In the near future, I will also be posting other JIDC Editors and JIDC members wearing their T-shirts.  You can purchase an OA T-shirt from the Zazzle online store here.  And if you have a picture of yourself in an Open Access T-shirt, we would love to see it! 

Also, if you are interested in the JIDC T-shirts or have ideas you would like to see on the JIDC Ts, please contact me at or Jeff Coombs at  Jeff is the graphic artist for JIDC and designs the cover art for the monthly issues.

To read more on our interest in Open Access and Open Access week, please see our previous JIDC OA Blog post.  As well, Donna Okubo from PLoS (Public Library of Science) and SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has been incredibly helpful with the organization of JIDC in OA week.  In fact I would call her the SPARC in our OA work….hehe. 

If you have questions about OA week for Donna she would be happy to help.  Her email is  I can’t thank her enough! Thanks Donna!

 Also, if you have ideas for JIDC events during OA week, I would like to hear them.  So far, our planned events include the topics: The JIDC Mentoring Program, Scientific Writing, and the Importance of Open Access Publishing.  Let me know what you think.



Filed under JIDC News, Open Access, Open Access Week, Science Tools, Uncategorized

Enivronmental Issues: Millipedes in Kashmir, India

New Blog Section:  Environmental Issues

I am pleased to announce that we are adding a new section to our JIDC Blog, called Environmental Issues.  This section will deal with problems that are affecting the environment such as floods, droughts, insects, and pollution.  We encourage readers to contact us about problems affecting their local environment.  As environmental problems usually affect health, it is important to report on these issues. 

Millipedes in Kashmir

Wikipedia Image

Our first post comes from Dr. S. Manzoor Kadri, an Epidemiologist from Kashmir Province, JK, India.  He writes about the significant population increase of multisegmented insects in his region, specifically in his local water supply.  The JIDC entamologist Ignazio Floris, professor of Entomology, Agriculture Faculty, University of Sassari, has reviewed his report and concluded these insects to be millipedes, which are arthropods that feed on decaying plant matter.  A good write up on millipedes can be found from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Ignazio Floris described millipedes for us as being insects with a multisegmented cylindrical body, where a pair of legs usually belong to each segment of which there are many varieties.  Millipedes are usually harmless, although some tropical varieties have been shown to injure humans.  


The deleterious effects of Millipedes

Image from Enchanted Learning at

In addition to destroying agricultural crops, the millipede can also cause painful bites to humans.  Along the millipede’s body segments are numerous ‘repugnatorial’ glands, where the secretions from these glands have been shown to be harmful to humans. The millipedes which can cause harmful affects to humans mostly arise from tropical and subtropical zones, where giant species have been found (youtube video on giant African millipede).  Specifically, millipedes have been known to bite humans and cause much pain due to local erythema and oedema, which can last over several hours. Systemic symptoms can also arise from the painful bites which include nausea, dizziness and pyrexia. 

 Below is the Environmental Postcard from Dr. SM Kadri.



POSTCARD ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE:  Story of Insects from Marrhama Block Trehgam District Kupwara , Kashmir , India: Is it a public health problem?

Insects have been found in Marrhama, a village in Blok Trehgam in the District of Kupwara Jammu and Kashmir, India. The main water source used for drinking purposes is badly affected by the insects.

Map of India from Wikitravel

Health Professionals along with a Block Medical Officer, visited the village, which is about 20 km away from District Head Quarter Kupwara. The area is mostly surrounded by forests and hills, and the population of the affected village Marrhama is about 3500.

The people of the area are very poor subsitance farmers who possess little land.

A  local resident told the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP)  Team that he had seen a large number of the same kind of insects in the forest one month previously, creeping from the jungle area towards the village .


Morphology of Insects

The insects are white in colour, approximately 1 inch long, and  each insect has 40 pairs of legs. During its visit, the IDSP Team observed that the insects were found mostly in moist rather than in hot, dry areas. The team must now determine the extent of the public health problem that is posed by the presence of the insects and the safety of the local drinking water.

Image taken by Mr Najmusaqib Shah , DM , IDSP ,Kupwara



Picture taken by Mr Najmusaqib Shah , DM , IDSP ,Kupwara


Picture taken by Mr Najmusaqib Shah , DM , IDSP ,Kupwara


Picture taken by Mr Najmusaqib Shah , DM , IDSP ,Kupwara



Picture taken by Mr Najmusaqib Shah , DM , IDSP ,Kupwara

More pictures of the Insects can be found here in PDF format: Insects_seen_in_the_affected_area_of_District_Kupwara[1]


Tasks and Challenges? Is it a public health problem? Is the water safe for drinking?


Surveillance Team Members

  • Dr SM Kadri, Epidemiologist Kashmir, India
  • Dr Masarat Iqbal Wani , Block Medical Officer Kupwara, India
  • Mr. Najmusaqib Shah, Data Manager IDSP, Kupwara India

 This report was possible due to the dynamic leadership of Dr. Saleem ur Rehman, Director of Health Services, Kashmir, India.

SM Kadri Bio

Picture taken by Ms Elis Waden

Syed Manzoor Kadri, MB, MPH/ICHD (Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is working as an epidemiologist in Kashmir, India.  Dr.Kadri  is the State Nodal officer for NCD (Non Communicable Diseases) for Jammu & Kashmir, India.   He is associated with Public Health Foundation of India as an Observer /Advisor for EBDM (Evidence Based Diabetes Management).   As well, he  is the State Surveillance Officer for Disease Control for CD/NCDs.  Dr. Kadri  trains medical doctors and paramedics in the upcoming theoretics of diseases, awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, reproductive and child health, and disease surveillance.  His research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease.  Dr. Kadri  is Editor-in-Chief for International Journal of Med and PH  and Executive Editor for Indian J for Practicing Doctor .  He is a fellow of World Health Organization where he completed FETP.

Post and Bio submitted by SM Kadri

Image from the Royal Alberta Museum


Filed under Environmental Issues, Environmental Postcard, India, Postcards