It is now privately acknowledged that there may be little if any perceptible impact of the national Bacille Calmette–Guerin (BCG) vaccination program on disease prevalence, despite the extensive coverage of the newborn infant population and likely benefit in the early years of life. A better preventive vaccine than BCG is now being sought by Chinese researchers. Urgency has been added to the control problem by the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Furthermore, expensive second-line drugs seem unlikely to be made available by the government to treat drug-resistant cases, so attention in addition has turned to the potential of immunotherapy as an adjunct to chemotherapy. Research trends are summarized here.
immunotherapies; tuberculosis; vaccines
Despite major public health initiatives and the existence of efficacious treatment regimes, tuberculosis (TB) remains a threat, particularly in resource-limited settings. A significant part of the problem is the difficulty of rapidly identifying infected individuals, and as a result, there has been renewed interest in developing better diagnostics for infection or disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Many of the existing tools, however, have limitations such as poor sensitivity or specificity, or the need for well-equipped laboratories to function effectively. Serodiagnostic approaches in particular have long drawn attention, due to their potential utility in large field studies, particularly in resource-poor settings. Unfortunately none of the serodiagnostic approaches have so far proven useful under field conditions.
We screened a large panel of antigens with serodiagnostic potential by ELISA and selected a subpanel that was strongly and broadly recognised by TB patients, but not by controls. These antigens were then formulated into a simple immuno-chromatographic lateral flow assay format, suitable for field use, and tested against panels of plasma and blood samples from individuals with different clinical status (confirmed TB patients, household contacts, and apparently healthy community controls), recruited from Ethiopia (a highly TB-endemic country) and Turkey (a TB meso-endemic country). While specificity was good (97-100% in non TB-endemic controls), the sensitivity was not as high as expected (46-54% in pulmonary TB, 25-29% in extra-pulmonary TB).
Though below the level of sensitivity the consortium had set for commercial development, the assay specifically identified M. tuberculosis-infected individuals, and provides a valuable proof of concept.
IgG; Antibody; TB; Antigen; Serology; Diagnosis; ELISA
In the search for better tools to control bovine tuberculosis, the development of diagnostic tests with improved specificity and sensitivity has a high priority. We chose to search for novel immunodiagnostic reagents. In this study, Rv0899 (outer membrane protein A of Mycobacterium tuberculosis [OmpATb]) was evaluated as a stimulation antigen in a gamma interferon (IFN-γ) release assay to diagnose bovine tuberculosis. OmpATb induced IFN-γ responses in cattle experimentally infected with M. bovis as early and as persistently as ESAT-6 and CFP-10, the current lead diagnostic antigens. In naturally infected cattle, OmpATb stimulated IFN-γ production in 22 of 26 animals (85%). Importantly, OmpATb detected a portion of M. bovis-infected cattle which did not respond to ESAT-6 and CFP-10 (five of six cattle). The combined diagnostic sensitivity of OmpATb, ESAT-6, and CFP-10 for a preselected group consisting of naturally infected cattle with an overrepresentation of ESAT-6/CFP-10 nonresponders was 96% (25 of 26 animals). The specificity of OmpATb for uninfected cattle was 100% (27 cattle were tested; 12 of them gave false-positive results with tuberculins). In summary, our results indicate that OmpATb has the potential to enhance the sensitivity of previously described diagnostic tests based on ESAT-6 and CFP-10 and that the combined use of OmpATb, ESAT-6, CFP-10, and other proteins may achieve at least equal sensitivity to that obtained with purified protein derivative, but at a higher specificity. Further studies evaluating the diagnostic performance of OmpATb in combination with other proteins are ongoing.
Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) presents a major challenge to global TB control. To gain a better understanding of drug-resistant TB epidemiology in Malatya, Turkey, we conducted the present study using 397 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates collected from Malatya, Turkey, in recent years (2000-2007). Resistance to any anti-TB drug was found in 29% (114 of 397) of the study isolates, while the multidrug resistance (MDR) rate was ∼4.5% (18 of 397). Resistances to isoniazid (15.5%) and streptomycin (13.4%) were about twice as high as resistance to rifampin (RMP) (6.3%) and ethambutol (EMB) (6.0%). Importantly, 28% (7 of 25) of the RMP-resistant isolates were non-MDR isolates, as when a significant proportion of RMP-resistant isolates in a population are non-MDR, the predictive value of molecular detection of RMP resistance for MDR can be significantly reduced. Both identical and varied drug resistance patterns were seen in the same genotyping-defined clusters, suggesting that both primary and acquired resistance have contributed to the drug-resistant TB epidemic in Malatya, Turkey. In addition, drug-resistant cases were found to be more likely to be males (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.82 [1.13, 2.94]), suggesting a potential role of gender in the epidemiology of drug-resistant TB in the study population. This study demonstrates that the integration of drug susceptibility testing with genotyping and epidemiological data analysis represents a useful approach to studying the epidemiology of drug-resistant TB.
Anti-tuberculosis drug induced liver injury (ATLI) is emerging as a significant threat to tuberculosis control in China, though limited data is available about the burden of ATLI at population level. This study aimed to estimate the incidence of ATLI, to better understand its clinical features, and to evaluate its impact on anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment in China.
In a population-based prospective study, we monitored 4,304 TB patients receiving directly observed treatment strategy (DOTS) treatment, and found that 106 patients developed ATLI with a cumulative incidence of 2.55% (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 2.04%–3.06%). Nausea, vomiting and anorexia were the top three most frequently observed symptoms. There were 35 (33.02%) ATLI patients with no symptoms, including 8 with severe hepatotoxicity. Regarding the prognosis of ATLI, 84 cases (79.25%) recovered, 18 (16.98%) improved, 2 (1.89%) failed to respond to the treatment with continued elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase, and 2 (1.89%) died as result of ATLI. Of all the ATLI cases, 74 (69.81%) cases changed their anti-TB treatment, including 4 (3.77%) cases with medication administration change, 21 (19.81%) cases with drugs replacement, 54 (50.94%) cases with therapy interruption, and 12 (11.32%) cases who discontinued therapy. In terms of treatment outcomes, 53 (51.46%) cases had TB cured in time, 48 (46.60%) cases had therapy prolonged, and 2 (1.94%) cases died. Compared with non-ATLI patients, ATLI patients had a 9.25-fold (95%CI, 5.69–15.05) risk of unsuccessful anti-TB treatment outcomes and a 2.11-fold (95%CI,1.23–3.60) risk of prolonged intensive treatment phase.
ATLI could considerably impact the outcomes of anti-TB treatment. Given the incidence of ATLI and the size of TB population in China, the negative impact is substantial. Therefore, more research and efforts are warranted in order to enhance the diagnosis and the prevention of ATLI.
Drug-resistant TB has emerged as a major challenge facing TB prevention and control efforts. In Ethiopia, the extent/trend of drug resistance TB is not well known. The aim of this study was to determine the pattern and trend of resistance to first line anti-TB drugs among culture positive retreatment cases at St.Peter’s TB Specialized Hospital.
A hospital based retrospective study was used to assess the pattern of anti-TB drug resistance among previously treated TB patients referred to St.Peter’s TB Specialized Hospital from January 2004-December 2008 Gregorian calendar(GC) for better diagnosis and treatment.
Among 376 culture positive for M. tuberculosis one hundred and two (27.1%) were susceptible to all of the four first line anti-TB drugs -Isoniazid (INH), Rifampicin (RIF), Ethambutol (ETB) & Streptomycin (STM). While 274 (72.9%) were resistant to at least one drug. Any resistance to STM (67.3%) was found to be the most common and the prevalence of MDR-TB was 174 (46.3%). Trend in resistance rate among re-treatment cases from 2004 to 2008 showed a significant increase for any drug as well as for INH, RIF, and MDR resistance (P <0.05 for trend).
There has been an increasing trend in drug resistance in recent years, particularly in retreatment cases. Therefore, establishing advanced diagnostic facilities for early detection of MDR-TB and expanding second line treatment center to treat MDR-TB patients and to prevent its transmission is recommended.
Epidemiology; MDR-TB; Drug resistance; Drug susceptibility; Trend
DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates offers better opportunities to study links between tuberculosis (TB) cases and can highlight relevant issues in urban TB control in low-endemic countries.
A medium-sized molecular cluster of TB cases with identical DNA fingerprints was used for the development of a visual presentation of epidemiologic links between cases.
Of 32 cases, 17 (53%) were linked to the index case, and 11 (34%) to a secondary case. The remaining four (13%) could not be linked and were classified as possibly caused by the index patient. Of the 21 cases related to the index case, TB developed within one year of the index diagnosis in 11 patients (52%), within one to two years in four patients (19%), and within two to five years in six patients (29%).
Cluster analysis underscored several issues for TB control in an urban setting, such as the recognition of the outbreak, the importance of reinfections, the impact of delayed diagnosis, the contribution of pub-related transmissions and its value for decision-making to extend contact investigations. Visualising cases in a cluster diagram was particularly useful in finding transmission locations and the similarities and links between patients.
As a risk factor of tuberculosis (TB), tobacco smoking has increased substantially over the past three decades, especially in developing countries. However, the association between smoking and TB, which has been shown to exist in different studies with different ethnic background, has not yet received sufficient attention in terms of TB care standards and research in China.
An observational study was conducted in two rural areas of China. A total of 613 TB patients frequency matched with 1226 controls were interviewed by using a structured questionnaire. The associations between cigarette smoking and risk of TB were estimated by computing odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) from logistic regression model. Patients' smoking behavior and patterns of smoking cessation were followed after TB diagnosis. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was applied to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) in analyzing the risk factors for smoking relapse. The Kaplan-Meier estimate was computed to plot the ability of smoking-free after cessation among different groups, with the Log-rank test being used to compare the difference.
The proportion of cigarette smoking was 54.6% in TB cases, which was significantly higher than that in controls (45.1%) with adjusted OR of 1.93(95% CI: 1.51–2.48). Though 54.9% smokers stopped smoking after being diagnosed with TB, more than 18% relapsed during the follow-up period. The proportion of relapse was higher within 6–9 months (6%) and 12–15 months (11%) after cessation. In the Cox regression estimates adjusted for age and gender, compared with those highly educated and previously treated patients, the hazard ratios of smoking relapse were 3.48(95% CI: 1.28–9.47) for less educated (< 6 years) and 4.30(95% CI: 1.01–18.30) for newly treated patients, respectively.
Cigarette smoking is associated with TB in the Chinese. Interventions of smoking cessation are recommended to be included in the current TB control practice.
Modern medicine has done much in the fields of infectious diseases and emergencies to aid cure. In most other fields, it is mostly control that it aims for, which is another name for palliation. Pharmacology, psychopharmacology included, is mostly directed towards such control and palliation too. The thrust, both of clinicians and research, must now turn decisively towards prevention and cure. Also, longevity with well-being is modern medicine’s other big challenge. Advances in vaccines for hypertension, diabetes, cancers etc, deserve attention; as also, the role of meditation, yoga, spirituality etc in preventing disease at various levels. Studies on longevity, life style changes and healthy centenarians deserve special scrutiny to find what aids longevity with wellbeing. A close look at complementary and alternative medicine is needed to find any suitable models they may have, cutting aside their big talk and/or hostility towards mainstream medical care. Medicine is a manifestation of the human eros, and should not become a means of its thanatos. It must realise its true potential, so that eros prevails, and thanatos prevails only ultimately, not prematurely.
Medicine; Eros; Thanatos; Disease; Prevention; Cure; Palliation; Longevity; Well-being; Centenarians; Meditation; Yoga; Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Pharmacology; Psychopharmacology
Defining the mechanisms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) persistence in the host macrophage and identifying mycobacterial factors responsible for it are keys to better understand tuberculosis pathogenesis. The emerging picture from ongoing studies of macrophage deactivation by Mtb suggests that ingested bacilli secrete various virulence determinants that alter phagosome biogenesis, leading to arrest of Mtb vacuole interaction with late endosomes and lysosomes. While most studies focused on Mtb interference with various regulators of the endosomal compartment, little attention was paid to mechanisms by which Mtb neutralizes early macrophage responses such as the NADPH oxidase (NOX2) dependent oxidative burst. Here we applied an antisense strategy to knock down Mtb nucleoside diphosphate kinase (Ndk) and obtained a stable mutant (Mtb Ndk-AS) that displayed attenuated intracellular survival along with reduced persistence in the lungs of infected mice. At the molecular level, pull-down experiments showed that Ndk binds to and inactivates the small GTPase Rac1 in the macrophage. This resulted in the exclusion of the Rac1 binding partner p67phox from phagosomes containing Mtb or Ndk-coated latex beads. Exclusion of p67phox was associated with a defect of both NOX2 assembly and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in response to wild type Mtb. In contrast, Mtb Ndk-AS, which lost the capacity to disrupt Rac1-p67phox interaction, induced a strong ROS production. Given the established link between NOX2 activation and apoptosis, the proportion of Annexin V positive cells and levels of intracellular active caspase 3 were significantly higher in cells infected with Mtb Ndk-AS compared to wild type Mtb. Thus, knock down of Ndk converted Mtb into a pro-apoptotic mutant strain that has a phenotype of increased susceptibility to intracellular killing and reduced virulence in vivo. Taken together, our in vitro and in vivo data revealed that Ndk contributes significantly to Mtb virulence via attenuation of NADPH oxidase-mediated host innate immunity.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a very successful intracellular pathogen that infects lung macrophages. Its resistance to intracellular killing has been linked to the development of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in humans. Thus, understanding the mechanism by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) persists in the host is a prerequisite for development of efficient strategies to control TB disease. We have previously shown that Mtb nucleoside diphosphate kinase (Ndk) contributes to phagosome maturation arrest via inactivation of Rab5 and Rab7. In this study, we show that Ndk also targets and inactivates the small GTPase Rac1, an essential component of the macrophage NADPH oxidase (NOX2) complex. Ndk-dependent inactivation of Rac1 was associated with reduced NOX2-mediated production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ROS-dependent apoptosis. Conversely, disruption of Ndk expression converted Mtb into a mutant strain that induces strong ROS and apoptosis responses. This phenotype was associated with reduced survival of Ndk mutant in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that Ndk contributes significantly to mycobacterial virulence.
Extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) has an increasing rate in Turkey. The reason remains largely unknown. A better understanding of the demographic and microbial characteristics of EPTB in the Turkish population would extend the knowledgebase of EPTB and allow us to develop better strategies to control tuberculosis (TB).
We retrospectively evaluated clinical and laboratory data of 397 bacteriologically-confirmed TB cases diagnosed during an eight year-period using by chi-square analysis and multivariate logistic regression model.
Of the 397 study patients, 103 (25.9%) had EPTB and 294 (74.1%) had pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). The most commonly seen two types of EPTB were genitourinary TB (27.2%) and meningeal TB (19.4%). TB in bone/joints, pleural cavity, lymph nodes, skin, and peritoneal cavity occurred at a frequency ranging from 9.7% to 10.7%. The age distribution was significantly different (P < 0.01) between PTB and EPTB, with patients older than 45 years tending to have an increased risk of EPTB. Furthermore, the distribution of different types of EPTB differed significantly among age groups (P = 0.03). Meningeal and bone and/or joint TB were more commonly observed among the male patients, while lymphatic, genitourinary, and peritoneal TB cases were more frequently seen among females. Unique strain infection was statistically significantly associated with EPTB (OR: 2.82, 95% CI [1.59, 5.00])
EPTB accounted for a significant proportion of TB cases in Malatya, Turkey between 2001 and 2007. The current study has provided an insight into the dynamics of EPTB in Malatya, Turkey. However, the risk factors for having EPTB in Malatya, Turkey remain to be assessed in future studies using population-based or randomly selected sample.
Now that schizophrenia researchers may be moving from unilateral molecular genetic approaches to models including so-called gene-environment interactions, the question rises which environments may be considered for such research and how a user perspective may inform the field. It is argued that trauma and stigma, or perhaps better structural discrimination, represent 2 important environmental factors that deserve more attention. Experiential evidence, collected by users, suggests that trauma in childhood and/or adulthood, before, during, and after the onset of schizophrenia, as well as stigma/structural discrimination, may play important roles in the onset and course of the disorder. A certain reluctance on the part of the professional schizophrenia research community to take these variables as serious as, eg, interesting but inconclusive etiological signals from prenatal hypoxia, prenatal folate deficiency, and prenatal toxoplasmosis is suggested. This article outlines the concepts of trauma and stigma and their negative consequences for the onset and course of schizophrenia. The importance of research into these factors and their possible relevance for gene-environment interactions is discussed. While gene-environment interaction research using these variables is indicated and may possibly prove productive, it is argued that such efforts may not be useful if no subsequent attempt is made to translate the results to the level of interventions, codeveloped by users, eg, in the area of coping with the vicious circle of environmental adversity that users can become exposed to.
schizophrenia; psychosis; stigma; trauma; gene-environment interaction; discrimination
The authors examined apathy symptoms, their improvement, and their association with functional recovery, after a hip fracture. Of 126 subjects, 37% had clinically significant apathy symptoms, which predicted functional outcome (i.e., poorer recovery from the fracture among those with higher baseline apathy). Of subjects with baseline high apathy, approximately one-third improved; these subjects had a better functional outcome than those with persistently high apathy scores. It is concluded that apathy symptoms are common post-hip fracture but improve in one-third of individuals, with a concomitant improved recovery. Interventions to prevent or improve apathy in elderly persons deserve further attention.
Male osteoporosis is a health problem which deserves more attention as nearly 30% of osteoporotic fractures happen in men aged 50 years and above. Although men do not experience an accelerated bone loss phase and testosterone deficiency is not a universal characteristic for aged men, osteoporosis due to age-related testosterone deficiency does have a negative impact on bone health status of men. Observations from epidemiological studies indicate that elderly men with higher testosterone can preserve their BMD better and thus are less prone to fracture. Observations on men with estrogen resistance or aromatase deficiency indicate that estrogen is equally important in the maintenance of bone health status. This had been validated in several epidemiological studies which found that the relationships between estrogen and bone health indices are significant and sometimes stronger than testosterone. Studies on the relationship between quantitative ultrasound and bone remodeling markers suggest that testosterone and estrogen may have differential effects on bone, but further evidence was needed. In conclusion, both testosterone and estrogen are important in the maintenance of bone health in men.
T-cell lymphomas involve the testis infrequently, which deserve special attention because of the poor prognosis and the need to make an appropriate diagnosis, which could lead to a better therapeutic strategy.
A 40-year-old man presented with right testicular swelling for past three months. The swelling was painless, hard and rubbery. Testicular ultrasound showed diffuse increase in size of the testicle, with alteration in its echogenicity. The patient underwent orchidectomy, and based on histopathological and immunohistochemical tests, a peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified was diagnosed.
Testicular peripheral T-cell lymphomas are rare and aggressive cancers, with clinical differentials of seminoma and non-neoplastic conditions.
T-cell lymphoma; Orchidectomy; Immunohistochemical; Histopathological
As in other Biotechnological fields, the microbial production of recombinant proteins and other biomolecules can be approached from multiple angles through the help of diverse technologies of increasing complexity. To better reach all the specialized niches in bioproduction, Microbial Cell Factories is now inviting authors to prepare concise Reviews (eventually miniReviews), covering relevant areas that deserve specific and highly focused attention. By the publication of such contributions, the journal will promote the revision of new insights around the Cell Factory concept in a highly comprehensive way, in molecular, cellular and environmental contexts.
The pharmaceutical industry is not supplying the penicillin preparations that are required for the treatment of syphilis. For those in whom penicillin hypersensitivity is suspected there is a need for a safe injectable alternative that is effective if given once daily or, preferably, at two- or three-day intervals. Existing treatments for chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, and granuloma inguinale are described, but even collectively there are few cases and treatments for other sexually transmitted diseases merit priority. Treatments for scabies and pediculosis pubis, although not perfect, are reasonable. There is a need for better local treatment for condylomata acuminata and systemic immunological methods, including those that increase cell-mediated immunity, deserve attention. The same is true for molluscum contagiosum. There is an urgent need for an effective, safe treatment of herpes genitalis that is able to eradicate the virus from the host. If it is proved that the herpes virus is responsible for carcinoma of the cervix this could then be the most serious sexually transmitted disease as in many countries such carcinomas are responsible for approximate seven times more deaths in women than is syphilis in men and women together. The limitations of prophylactic methods in preventing all possibility of infection with one or more of the sexually transmitted diseases are discussed.
The global financial crisis threatens global health, particularly exacerbating diseases of inequality, e.g. HIV/AIDS, and diseases of poverty, e.g. tuberculosis. The aim of this paper is to reconsider established practices and policies for HIV and tuberculosis epidemic control, aiming at delivering better results and value for money. This may be achieved by promoting greater integration of HIV and tuberculosis control programme activities within a strengthened health system.
HIV and tuberculosis share many similarities in terms of their disease burden and the recommended stratagems for their control. HIV and tuberculosis programmes implement similar sorts of control activities, e.g. case finding and treatment, which depend for success on generic health system issues, including vital registration, drug procurement and supply, laboratory network, human resources, and financing. However, the current health system approach to HIV and tuberculosis control often involves separate specialised services. Despite some recent progress, collaboration between the programmes remains inadequate, progress in obtaining synergies has been slow, and results remain far below those needed to achieve universal access to key interventions. A fundamental re-think of the current strategic approach involves promoting integrated delivery of HIV and tuberculosis programme activities as part of strengthened general health services: epidemiological surveillance, programme monitoring and evaluation, community awareness of health-seeking behavior, risk behaviour modification, infection control, treatment scale-up (first-line treatment regimens), drug-resistance surveillance, containing and countering drug-resistance (second-line treatment regimens), research and development, global advocacy and global partnership. Health agencies should review policies and progress in HIV and tuberculosis epidemic control, learn mutual lessons for policy development and scaling up interventions, and identify ways of joint planning and joint funding of integrated delivery as part of strengthened health systems.
As both a danger and an opportunity, the global financial crisis may entail disaster or recovery for global health sector efforts for HIV and tuberculosis epidemic control. Review of policies and progress in control paves the way for identification of synergies between the two programmes, within strengthened health services. The silver lining in the global economic crisis could be better control of the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics, better overall health system performance and outcomes, and better value for money.
Rationale: Tuberculosis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. A better understanding of the mechanisms of disease protection could allow novel strategies to disease management and control.
Objectives: To identify human genomic loci with evidence of linkage to tuberculosis susceptibility and, within these loci, to identify individual genes influencing tuberculosis susceptibility.
Methods: Affected sibling pair analysis in South African and Malawian populations. Independent case-control study in West Africa.
Measurements and Main Results: Two novel putative loci for tuberculosis susceptibility are identified: chromosome 6p21-q23 and chromosome 20q13.31—33—the latter with the strongest evidence for any locus reported to date in human tuberculosis (single point LOD score of 3.1, P = 10−4, with a maximum likelihood score [MLS] of 2.8). An independent, multistage genetic association study in West African populations mapped this latter region in detail, finding evidence that variation in the melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3R) and cathepsin Z (CTSZ) genes play a role in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate how a genomewide approach to the complex phenotype of human tuberculosis can identify novel targets for further research.
tuberculosis; host genetics; MC3R; Africa
The DevR response regulator is implicated in both hypoxic adaptation and virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). DevR regulon genes are powerfully induced in vivo implicating them in bacterial adaptation to host control strategies. A better understanding of DevR function will illumine the way for new strategies to control and treat tuberculosis.
Towards this objective, we used a combination of genetic, microbiological, biochemical, cell biological tools and a guinea pig virulence assay to compare the hypoxic adaptation and virulence properties of two novel M. tb strains, namely, a devR disruption mutant, Mut1, that expresses C-terminal truncated N-terminal domain of DevR (DevRNTD) as a fusion protein with AphI (DevRN-Kan), and its complemented strain, Comp1, that expresses intact DevR along with DevRN-Kan. Comp1 bacteria exhibit a defect in DevR-mediated phosphosignalling, hypoxic induction of HspX and also hypoxic survival. In addition, we find that Comp1 is attenuated in virulence in guinea pigs and shows decreased infectivity of THP-1 cells. While Mut1 bacilli are also defective in hypoxic adaptation and early growth in spleen, they exhibit an overall virulence comparable to that of wild-type bacteria.
The hypoxic defect of Comp1 is associated to a defect in DevR expression level. The demonstrated repression of DevR function by DevRN-Kan suggests that such a knockdown approach could be useful for evaluating the activity of DevRS and other two-component signaling pathways. Further investigation is necessary to elucidate the mechanism underlying Comp1 attenuation.
At the dawn of the third millennium, while the control of the second biggest infectious killer in the world (tuberculosis [TB]) is an international priority, millions of pastoralist communities in the Horn of Africa are struggling to access TB care. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of pastoralist TB patients remain to be a challenge in TB control programs in many countries in this region, where pastoralism is a common means of livelihood. Better understanding of community perceptions of TB and its management could help identify reasons for the delay in diagnosis of TB among pastoral communities. The aim of this study is to explore barriers delaying diagnosis among pastoralist TB patients in the Somali Regional State (SRS) of Ethiopia.
A qualitative study, including 19 respondents was conducted in the SRS of Ethiopia. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and informal interview techniques were employed to explore pastoralists' migration patterns, their perceptions of TB and their access to TB services. The influence of these factors on the delay of TB patients in receiving biomedical diagnosis was then assessed.
We found that lack of access to formal health services as well as traditional beliefs leading to self treatment were barriers to prompt bio-medical diagnosis of TB among pastoralist TB patients in the SRS of Ethiopia. This study highlights that limited access to TB control programs is the most important barrier in early seeking of biomedical diagnosis of TB among pastoral communities with nomadic pastoralist being the most affected.
Diagnostic and treatment facilities should be established in strategic villages that pastoralist can reach in both dry and wet seasons. Such facilities may alleviate the observed long distance to health facilities and thus long delay in diagnosis of TB. This strategy should be compounded with a community based TB control approach, whereby basic medical training on TB management such as provision of health education, drug distribution and observations is provided to local traditional healers and religious leaders. This approach may improve pastoralists' perceptions of TB, hence eliminating the observed traditional believes associated with TB in pastoralists' context of the SRS.
Despite the availability of many animal models for tuberculosis (TB) research, there still exists a need for better understanding of the quiescent stage of disease observed in many humans. Here, we explored the use of the Wistar rat model for the study of protective immunity and control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection.
The kinetics of bacillary growth, evaluated by the colony stimulating assay (CFU) and the extent of lung pathology in Mtb infected Wistar rats were dependent on the virulence of the strains and the size of the infecting inoculums. Bacillary growth control was associated with induction of T helper type 1 (Th1) activation, the magnitude of which was also Mtb strain and dose dependent. Histopathology analysis of the infected lungs demonstrated the formation of well organized granulomas comprising epithelioid cells, multinucleated giant cells and foamy macrophages surrounded by large numbers of lymphocytes. The late stage subclinical form of disease was reactivated by immunosuppression leading to increased lung CFU.
The Wistar rat is a valuable model for better understanding host-pathogen interactions that result in control of Mtb infection and potentially establishment of latent TB. These properties together with the ease of manipulation, relatively low cost and well established use of rats in toxicology and pharmacokinetic analyses make the rat a good animal model for TB drug discovery.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global threat in the 21st century. Traditional studies of the disease are focused on the single pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recent studies have revealed associations of some diseases with an imbalance in the microbial community. Characterization of the TB microbiota could allow a better understanding of the disease.
Here, the sputum microbiota in TB infection was examined by using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. A total of 829,873 high-quality sequencing reads were generated from 22 TB and 14 control sputum samples. Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Fusobacteria were the five major bacterial phyla recovered, which together composed over 98% of the microbial community. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were more represented in the TB samples and Firmicutes was more predominant in the controls. Sixteen major bacterial genera were recovered. Streptococcus, Neisseria and Prevotella were the most predominant genera, which were dominated by several operational taxonomic units grouped at a 97% similarity level. Actinomyces, Fusobacterium, Leptotrichia, Prevotella, Streptococcus, and Veillonella were found in all TB samples, possibly representing the core genera in TB sputum microbiota. The less represented genera Mogibacterium, Moryella and Oribacterium were enriched statistically in the TB samples, while a genus belonging to the unclassified Lactobacillales was enriched in the controls. The diversity of microbiota was similar in the TB and control samples.
The composition and diversity of sputum microbiota in TB infection was characterized for the first time by using high-throughput pyrosequencing. It lays the framework for examination of potential roles played by the diverse microbiota in TB pathogenesis and progression, and could ultimately facilitate advances in TB treatment.
Over half of all deaths from tuberculosis in California occur among elderly persons. Among the poor, prevalence is still much higher than among those in better economic circumstances. Medicare and Medi-Cal make substantial resources available but could dilute organized control efforts. Renewed professional education, cutting through fiscal intricacies, and integration of care for tuberculous persons into general medical and hospital care will maintain high standards of tuberculosis control.
The anamnestic response is the property of the immune system that makes vaccine development possible. Although the development of a vaccine against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an important global priority, there are many gaps in our understanding of how immunological memory develops following M. tuberculosis infection or after BCG vaccination. In experiments designed to compare the anamnestic response of susceptible and resistant mouse strains, major histocompatibility complex-matched memory-immune C3.SW-H2b/SnJ and C57BL/6 mice both demonstrated better control of bacterial replication following reinfection with M. tuberculosis than control mice. Nevertheless, this memory response did not appear to have any long-term protective effect for either mouse strain. A greater understanding of the immunological factors that govern the maintenance of immunological memory following exposure to M. tuberculosis will be required to develop an effective vaccine.