Macrophages play an important role in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis and contribute to establishment of a viral reservoir responsible for continuous virus production and virus transmission to T cells. In this study, we investigated the differences between various monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) generated through different differentiation protocols and evaluated different cellular, immunological, and virological properties. We found that elevated and persistent HIV-1 pWT/BaL replication could be obtained only in MDMs grown in RPMI containing macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Interestingly, this MDM type was also most responsive to toll-like receptor stimulation. By contrast, all MDM types were activated to a comparable extent by intracellular DNA, and the macrophage serum-free medium-(Mac-SFM-)differentiated MDMs responded strongly to membrane fusion through expression of CXCL10. Finally, we found that HIV infection of RPMI/M-CSF-differentiated MDMs induced low-grade expression of two interferon-stimulated genes in some donors. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the differentiation protocol used greatly influences the ability of MDMs to activate innate immune reactions and support HIV-1 replication. Paradoxically, the data show that the MDMs with the strongest innate immune response were also the most permissive for HIV-1 replication.
The structure of the small laccase from S. coelicolor is reported at improved resolution and in a different space group. The soaked ligand is bound between laccase molecules.
The paper reports the structure of the small laccase from Streptomyces coelicolor determined from a crystal soaked with potassium hexacyanoferrate [K4Fe(CN)6]. The decolorization of the natively blue crystal observed upon soaking indicates the reduction of the enzyme in the crystal. The ligand binds between laccase molecules and stabilizes the crystal. The increased diffraction limit of the diffraction data collected from this crystal enabled the refinement of the small laccase structure at 2.3 Å resolution, which is the highest resolution obtained to date.
laccases; ligand soaking; oxidoreductases; multicopper blue proteins
Synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) containing unmethylated CpG motifs, CpG ODN, are Toll-like receptor 9 agonists (TLR9a), which have been used as adjuvants in pneumococcal vaccines to improve antibody responses in immunodeficient patients. Here, we examined whether the coadministration of TLR9a with pneumococcal CRM197-conjugate vaccine enhances protection against pneumococcal colonization, the levels of antipolysaccharide antibodies, and the CD4+ T-cell responses. Wild-type BALB/c mice and B-cell-deficient BALB/c Igh-Jtm1Dhu mice were immunized twice with the following: (i) PCV alone; (ii) simultaneous PCV and TLR9a; (iii) PCV and then TLR9a, after a 48-h delay; (iv) TLR9a alone; and (v) phosphate-buffered saline. Nasopharyngeal protection, serum antibodies, CD4+ T-cell responses, and clearance of bacteremia after intraperitoneal challenge with Streptococcus pneumoniae 6B were evaluated. We found decreased nasopharyngeal protection against S. pneumoniae 6B colonization after simultaneous immunization with PCV and TLR9a compared to immunization with PCV alone in wild-type BALB/c mice (P = 0.037). A similar trend was observed in B-cell-deficient BALB/c Igh-Jtm1Dhu mice. Simultaneous administration did not enhance antibody levels and lowered the CRM197-specific cytokine release of gamma interferon, interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-5 and IL-13. Immunization with PCV and then TLR9a, after a 48-h delay, significantly improved nasopharyngeal protection compared to simultaneous administration (P = 0.011). Furthermore, delaying TLR9a delivery increased antibody titers compared to both simultaneous administration (P = 0.001) and PCV immunization alone (P = 0.026). In conclusion, the immunological and clinical impact of adjuvanting a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar; Pfizer) with a TLR9a is highly depended on timing of the adjuvant administration. Thus, careful timing of adjuvant administration may improve novel vaccine formulations.
To investigate whether bicycling to school improves cardiometabolic risk factor profile and cardiorespiratory fitness among children.
Prospective, blinded, randomised controlled trial.
Single centre study in Odense, Denmark
43 children previously not bicycling to school were randomly allocated to control group (n=20) (ie, no change in lifestyle) or intervention group (ie, bicycling to school) (n=23).
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Change in cardiometabolic risk factor score and change in cardiorespiratory fitness.
All participants measured at baseline returned at follow-up. Based upon intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses, clustering of cardiometabolic risk factors was lowered by 0.58 SD (95% CI −1.03 to −0.14, p=0.012) in the bicycling group compared to the control group. Cardiorespiratory fitness (l O2/min) per se did not increase significantly more in the intervention than in the control group (β=0.0337, 95% CI −0.06 to 0.12, p=0.458).
Bicycling to school counteracted a clustering of cardiometabolic risk factors and should thus be recognised as potential prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The intervention did, however, not elicit a larger increase in cardiorespiratory fitness in the intervention group as compared with the control group.
Registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01236222).
cardiometabolic; risk factors; bicycling; children; commuting
Innate recognition is essential in the antiviral response against infection by herpes simplex virus (HSV). Chemokines are important for control of HSV via recruitment of natural killer cells, T lymphocytes, and antigen-presenting cells. We previously found that early HSV-1-mediated chemokine responses are not dependent on TLR2 and TLR9 in human macrophages. Here, we investigated the role of the recently identified innate IFN-inducible DNA receptor IFI16 during HSV-1 infection in human macrophages.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were purified from buffy coats and monocytes were differentiated to macrophages. Macrophages infected with HSV-1 were analyzed using siRNA-mediated knock-down of IFI16 by real-time PCR, ELISA, and Western blotting.
We determined that both CXCL10 and CCL3 are induced independent of HSV-1 replication. IFI16 mediates CCL3 mRNA accumulation during early HSV-1 infection. In contrast, CXCL10 was induced independently of IFI16.
Our data provide the first evidence of HSV-1-induced innate immune responses via IFI16 in human primary macrophages. In addition, the data suggest that at least one additional unidentified receptor or innate sensing mechanism is involved in recognizing HSV-1 prior to viral replication.
Herpes simplex virus; Innate; IFI16; Chemokine; PRR; DNA; Macrophages; Human
HIV-patients have excess of pneumococcal infection. We immunized 40 HIV-patients twice with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar, Pfizer) +/− a TLR9 agonist (CPG 7909). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with pneumococcal polysaccharides and cytokine concentrations measured. The CPG 7909 adjuvant group had significantly higher relative cytokine responses than the placebo group for IL-1β, IL-2R, IL-6, IFN-γ and MIP-β, which, did not correlate with IgG antibody responses. These findings suggests that CPG 7909 as adjuvant to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine induces cellular memory to pneumococcal polysaccharides in HIV-patients, independently of the humoral response.
pneumococcal vaccine; cellular memory; CpG-ODN; adjuvants; HIV; TLR9
Untreated HIV infection results in severe perturbations of the B-cell population and hyporesponsiveness to vaccination. We studied associations between circulating B-cell subsets and antibody response to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in treated and untreated HIV patients.
Ninety-five HIV-infected adults were grouped according to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and CD4+ cell count as follows: 20 ART-naïve (no prior ART), 62 ART-responders (received ART, and CD4 count >500 cells/µl), and 13 impaired responders (received ART for more than 3 years, and CD4 count <500 cells/µl). All subjects were immunized twice with double-dose 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine with or without 1 mg CPG 7909 (toll-like receptor 9 agonist) at baseline and after three months. Pre-vaccination B-cell subpopulations were assessed by flow cytometry. Serum IgG concentrations for vaccine serotypes were quantified by ELISA at baseline and 3, 4, and 9 months post-vaccination. ART responders had more isotype-switched memory B cells and more marginal-zone (MZ)-like B cells compared with impaired responders. Furthermore, ART-naïve patients had higher concentration of transitional B cells and plasmablasts compared with B cells of other patient groups. The concentration of MZ-like, isotype switched memory cells and plasmablasts correlated positively with post-vaccination IgG concentration at 3, 4, and 9 months. Low concentrations of isotype-switched memory B cells was the strongest independent predictor of poor pneumococcal conjugate vaccine responsiveness, emphasizing that B-cell subset disturbances are associated with poor vaccine response among HIV-infected patients
Our objective was to compare the bone and renal effects among HIV-infected patients randomized to abacavir or tenofovir-based combination anti-retroviral therapy.
In an open-label randomized trial, HIV-infected patients were randomized to switch from zidovudine/lamivudine (AZT/3TC) to abacavir/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC). We measured bone mass density (BMD) and bone turnover biomarkers (osteocalcin, osteocalcin, procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (P1NP), alkaline phosphatase, type I collagen cross-linked C-telopeptide (CTx), and osteoprotegerin). We assessed renal function by estimated creatinine clearance, plasma cystatin C, and urinary levels of creatinine, albumin, cystatin C, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL). The changes from baseline in BMD and renal and bone biomarkers were compared across study arms.
Of 40 included patients, 35 completed 48 weeks of randomized therapy and follow up. BMD was measured in 33, 26, and 27 patients at baseline, week 24, and week 48, respectively. In TDF/FTC-treated patients we observed significant reductions from baseline in hip and lumbar spine BMD at week 24 (−1.8% and −2.5%) and week 48 (−2.1% and −2.1%), whereas BMD was stable in patients in the ABC/3TC arm. The changes from baseline in BMD were significantly different between study arms. All bone turnover biomarkers except osteoprotegerin increased in the TDF/FTC arm compared with the ABC/3TC arm, but early changes did not predict subsequent loss of BMD. Renal function parameters were similar between study arms although a small increase in NGAL was detected among TDF-treated patients.
Switching to TDF/FTC-based therapy led to decreases in BMD and increases in bone turnover markers compared with ABC/3TC-based treatment. No major difference in renal function was observed.
Early identification of persons with undiagnosed HIV infection is an important health care issue. We examined associations between diseases diagnosed in hospitals and risk of subsequent HIV diagnosis.
In this population-based case control study, cases were persons with incident HIV infection diagnosed in Denmark between 1 January 1995 and 1 June 2008. Risk-set sampling was used to identify 19 age- and gender-matched population controls for each HIV case, using the HIV diagnosis date as the index date for both cases and controls. Prior hospital diagnoses obtained from Danish medical databases were first categorized into 22 major disease categories (excluding AIDS-defining diseases except tuberculosis) and then subdivided into 161 subcategories, allowing us to examine specific diseases as potential HIV indicators by conditional logistic regression.
The study included 2,036 HIV cases and 35,718 controls. Persons with the following disease categories had a high risk of HIV diagnosis during the subsequent 5-year period: sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 12.3, 95% CI: 9.60–15.7), hematological diseases (aOR = 4.28, 3.13–5.85), lower respiratory tract infections (aOR = 3.98, 3.14–5.04)), CNS infections (aOR = 3.44, 1.74–6.80), skin infections (aOR = 3.05, 2.47–3.75), other infections (aOR = 4.64, 3.89–5.54), and substance abuse (aOR = 2.60, 2.06–3.29). Several specific diseases were associated with aORs >20 including syphilis, hepatitis A, non “A” viral hepatitis, herpes zoster, candida infection, endocarditis, thrombocytopenia, and opioid abuse.
Targeted testing for HIV in patients diagnosed with diseases associated with HIV may lead to earlier treatment and thereby reduced morbidity, mortality and HIV transmission.
The monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) is a chemokine that plays an important role in the recruitment of monocytes to M. tuberculosis infection sites, and previous studies have reported that genetic variants in MCP1 are associated with differential susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). We examined eight MCP1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a multi-ethnic, case-control design that included: 321 cases and 346 controls from Guinea-Bissau, 258 cases and 271 controls from The Gambia, 295 cases and 179 controls from the U.S. (African-Americans), and an additional set of 237 cases and 144 controls of European ancestry from the U.S. and Argentina. Two locus interactions were also examined for polymorphisms in MCP1 and interleukin 12B (IL12B), another gene implicated in PTB risk. Examination of previously associated MCP1 SNPs rs1024611 (−2581A/G), rs2857656 (−362G/C) and rs4586 (+900C/T) did not show evidence for association. One interaction between rs2857656 and IL12B SNP rs2288831 was observed among Africans but the effect was in the opposite direction in Guineans (OR = 1.90, p = 0.001) and Gambians (OR = 0.64, p = 0.024). Our data indicate that the effect of genetic variation within MCP1 is not clear cut and additional studies will be needed to elucidate its role in TB susceptibility.
Targeted Induced Loci Lesions IN Genomes (TILLING) is increasingly being used to generate and identify mutations in target genes of crop genomes. TILLING populations of several thousand lines have been generated in a number of crop species including Brassica rapa. Genetic analysis of mutants identified by TILLING requires an efficient, high-throughput and cost effective genotyping method to track the mutations through numerous generations. High resolution melt (HRM) analysis has been used in a number of systems to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion/deletions (IN/DELs) enabling the genotyping of different types of samples. HRM is ideally suited to high-throughput genotyping of multiple TILLING mutants in complex crop genomes. To date it has been used to identify mutants and genotype single mutations. The aim of this study was to determine if HRM can facilitate downstream analysis of multiple mutant lines identified by TILLING in order to characterise allelic series of EMS induced mutations in target genes across a number of generations in complex crop genomes.
We demonstrate that HRM can be used to genotype allelic series of mutations in two genes, BraA.CAX1a and BraA.MET1.a in Brassica rapa. We analysed 12 mutations in BraA.CAX1.a and five in BraA.MET1.a over two generations including a back-cross to the wild-type. Using a commercially available HRM kit and the Lightscanner™ system we were able to detect mutations in heterozygous and homozygous states for both genes.
Using HRM genotyping on TILLING derived mutants, it is possible to generate an allelic series of mutations within multiple target genes rapidly. Lines suitable for phenotypic analysis can be isolated approximately 8-9 months (3 generations) from receiving M3 seed of Brassica rapa from the RevGenUK TILLING service.
TILLING; HRM; Brassica; genotyping
Flowering plants have evolved sophisticated and complicated reproductive structures to ensure optimal conditions for the next generation. Successful reproduction relies on careful timing and coordination of tissue development, which requires constant communication between these tissues. Work on flower and fruit development over the last decade places the phytohormone auxin in a key role as a master of patterning and tissue specification of reproductive organs. Although many questions still remain, it is now clear that auxin mediates its function in flowers and fruits through an integrated process of biosynthesis, transport, and signaling, as well as interaction with other hormonal pathways. In addition, the knowledge obtained so far about auxin function already allows researchers to develop tools for crop improvement and precision agriculture.
The phytohormone auxin is master regulator of plant reproductive organs. It marks floral initiation sites and controls stamen, pollen, gynoecium, and fruit development.
Our objective was to evaluate and compare the effect of abacavir on levels of biomarkers associated with cardiovascular risk.
In an open-label randomized trial, HIV-infected patients were randomized 1:1 to switch from zidovudine/lamivudine to abacavir/lamivudine or tenofovir/emtricitabine. In the present analysis, we measured levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), E-selectin, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) at baseline and 4, 12, and 48 weeks after randomization. D-dimer and fasting lipids were measured at baseline and weeks 12 and 48. Levels of biomarkers at all time points and changes from baseline were compared across study arms using Wilcoxon rank sum test.
Of 40 included patients, 35 completed 48 weeks of randomized therapy and follow up. Levels of E-selectin (P = 0.004) and sVCAM-1 (P = 0.041) increased transiently from baseline to week 4 in the abacavir arm compared with the tenofovir arm, but no long-term increases were detected. We found no significant differences between study arms in the levels or changes in the levels of sICAM-1, MPO, d-dimer, IL-6, or hs-CRP. Levels of total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL) increased in the abacavir arm relative to the tenofovir arm, but no difference was found in total cholesterol/HDL ratio.
In patients randomized to abacavir-based HIV-treatment transient increases were seen in the plasma levels of E-selectin and sVCAM-1 compared with treatment with tenofovir, but no difference between study arms was found in other biomarkers associated with endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, or coagulation. The clinical significance of these findings is uncertain.
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00647244.
HIV; abacavir; tenofovir; cardiovascular disease
Microbial translocation may contribute to the immunopathogenesis in HIV infection. We investigated if microbial translocation and inflammation were associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in adults with HIV.
This was an observational cohort study. Sera from HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals were analyzed for microbial translocation (soluble CD14, lipopolysaccharides [LPS], endotoxin core antibody, and anti-α-galactosyl antibodies) and inflammatory markers (high sensitivity C-reactive protein, IL-6, IL-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor II, and IL-10) with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from HIV-infected persons and healthy controls (primed with single-stranded HIV-1-derived RNA) were stimulated with LPS, and cytokine production was measured. Finally, HIV-infected patients were immunized with Prevnar 7vPnC±CpG 7909 followed by Pneumo Novum PPV-23. Effects of microbial translocation and inflammation on immunization were analyzed in a predictive regression model. We included 96 HIV-infected individuals, 76 on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), 20 HAART-naive, and 50 healthy controls. Microbial translocation and inflammatory markers were higher among HIV-infected persons than controls. Cytokine levels following LPS stimulation were increased in PBMCs from HAART-naive compared to HAART-treated HIV-infected persons. Further, RNA-priming of PBMCs from controls acted synergistically with LPS to augment cytokine responses. Finally, high serum LPS levels predicted poor vaccine responses among HAART-naive, but not among HAART-treated HIV-infected individuals.
LPS acts synergistically with HIV RNA to stimulate innate immune responses in vitro and increasing serum LPS levels seem to predict poor antibody responses after vaccination among HAART-naive HIV-infected persons. Thus, our results suggest that microbial translocation may be associated with innate and adaptive immune dysfunction in untreated HIV infection.
Industrially used carbohydrate oxidase was successfully crystallized in several forms, diffraction data suitable for structural analysis were collected.
Microdochium nivale carbohydrate oxidase was produced by heterologous recombinant expression in Aspergillus oryzae, purified and crystallized. The enzyme crystallizes with varying crystal morphologies depending on the crystallization conditions. Several different crystal forms were obtained using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method, two of which were used for diffraction measurements. Hexagon-shaped crystals (form I) diffracted to 2.66 Å resolution, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 55.7, c = 610.4 Å and apparent space group P6222. Analysis of the data quality showed almost perfect twinning of the crystals. Attempts to solve the structure by molecular replacement did not give satisfactory results. Recently, clusters of rod-shaped crystals (form II) were grown in a solution containing PEG MME 550. These crystals belonged to the monoclinic system C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 132.9, b = 56.6, c = 86.5 Å, β = 95.7°. Data sets were collected to a resolution of 2.4 Å. The structure was solved by the molecular-replacement method. Model refinement is currently in progress.
carbohydrate oxidases; Microdochium nivale
Innate recognition of viruses is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) triggering expression of antiviral interferons (IFNs) and proinflammatory cytokines. In mice, Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR9 as well as intracellular nucleotide-sensing pathways have been shown to recognize herpes simplex virus (HSV). Here, we describe how human primary macrophages recognize early HSV infection via intracellular pathways. A number of inflammatory cytokines, IFNs, and IFN-stimulated genes were upregulated after HSV infection. We show that early recognition of HSV and induction of IFNs and inflammatory cytokines are independent of TLR2 and TLR9, since inhibition of TLR2 using TLR2 neutralizing antibodies did not affect virus-induced responses and the macrophages were unresponsive to TLR9 stimulation. Instead, HSV recognition involves intracellular recognition systems, since induction of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and IFNs was dependent on virus entry and replication. Importantly, expression of IFNs was strongly inhibited by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of MAVS, but this MAVS-dependent IFN induction occurred independently of the recently discovered polymerase III (Pol III)/RIG-I DNA sensing system. In contrast, induction of TNF-α was largely independent of MAVS, suggesting that induction of inflammatory cytokines during HSV infection proceeds via a novel pathway. Transfection with ODN2006, a broad inhibitor of intracellular nucleotide recognition, revealed that nucleotide-sensing systems are employed to induce both IFNs and TNF-α. Finally, using siRNA knockdown, we found that MDA5, but not RIG-I, was the primary mediator of HSV recognition. Thus, innate recognition of HSV by human primary macrophages occurs via two distinct intracellular nucleotide-sensing pathways responsible for induction of IFNs and inflammatory cytokine expression, respectively.
We examined whether polymorphisms in interleukin-12B (IL12B) associate with susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in two West African populations (from The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau) and in two independent populations from North and South America. Nine polymorphisms (seven SNPs, one insertion/deletion, one microsatellite) were analyzed in 321 PTB cases and 346 controls from Guinea-Bissau and 280 PTB cases and 286 controls from The Gambia. For replication we studied 281 case and 179 control African-American samples and 221 cases and 144 controls of European ancestry from the US and Argentina. First-stage single locus analyses revealed signals of association at IL12B 3′ UTR SNP rs3212227 (unadjusted allelic p = 0.04; additive genotypic p = 0.05, OR = 0.78, 95% CI [0.61–0.99]) in Guinea-Bissau and rs11574790 (unadjusted allelic p = 0.05; additive genotypic p = 0.05, OR = 0.76, 95% CI [0.58–1.00]) in The Gambia. Association of rs3212227 was then replicated in African-Americans (rs3212227 allelic p = 0.002; additive genotypic p = 0.05, OR = 0.78, 95% CI [0.61–1.00]); most importantly, in the African-American cohort, multiple significant signals of association (seven of the nine polymorphisms tested) were detected throughout the gene. These data suggest that genetic variation in IL12B, a highly relevant candidate gene, is a risk factor for PTB in populations of African ancestry, although further studies will be required to confirm this association and identify the precise mechanism underlying it.
Real-Time quantitative PCR is an important tool in research and clinical settings. Here, we describe two new approaches that broaden the scope of real-time quantitative PCR; namely, run-internal mini standard curves (RIMS) and direct real-time relative quantitative PCR (drqPCR). RIMS are an efficient alternative to traditional standard curves and provide both run-specific and target-specific estimates of PCR parameters. The drqPCR enables direct estimation of target ratios without reference to conventional control samples.
In this study, we compared RIMS-based drqPCR with classical quantifications based on external standard curves and the “comparative Ct method”. Specifically, we used a raw real-time PCR dataset as the basis for more than two-and-a-half million simulated quantifications with various user-defined conditions. Compared with classical approaches, we found that RIMS-based drqPCR provided superior precision and comparable accuracy.
The obviation of referencing to control samples is attractive whenever unpaired samples are quantified. This may be in clinical and research settings; for instance, studies on chimerism, TREC quantifications, copy number variations etc. Also, lab-to-lab comparability can be greatly simplified.
Home screening tests could eliminate several barriers to testing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
To determine whether offering repeated home screening tests would increase the rate of testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea in a high‐risk sample of young women.
In this randomised controlled trial, 403 young women (mean age 18.9 years, 70% black) with a recent STD or with STD‐related risk factors were enrolled. Participants were recruited from clinics and high‐prevalence neighbourhoods and then randomly assigned to receive either a home testing kit or an invitation to attend a medical clinic for testing at 6, 12 and 18 months after enrollment. Over 80% of women were followed for 2 years. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT 00177437.
Of 197 women in the intervention group, 140 (71%) returned at least one home test and 25 of 249 (10%) home tests were positive. Women who received home screening tests completed significantly more STD tests overall (1.94 vs 1.41 tests per woman‐year, p<0.001) and more STD tests in the absence of symptoms (1.18 vs 0.75 tests per woman‐year, p<0.001). More women in the intervention group completed at least one test when asymptomatic (162 (82.2%) vs 117 (61.3%), p<0.001). The intervention was most effective among women recruited outside medical clinics. There was no significant difference in the overall rate of STDs detected.
Home screening significantly increased the utilisation of chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing in this sample of high‐risk young women, and thus represents a feasible strategy to facilitate STD testing in young women.
Mycoplasma genitalium has been shown to cause urethritis in men and cervicitis in women and may also be a causative agent in female infertility.
To estimate the prevalence of urogenital M genitalium infection and identify sexual behavioural risk factors in the general population.
Participating individuals were 731 men and 921 women aged 21–23 years and not seeking the healthcare system because of symptoms. They answered questionnaires on sexual behaviour and provided samples for M genitalium testing.
In women aged 21–23 years, the prevalence of infection was 2.3% (21/921) and in men of the same age it was 1.1% (8/731). For both sexes, an increasing number of partners was associated with a greater chance of being infected. Among women a shorter duration of a steady relationship and having a partner with symptoms was associated with being infected, and for men younger age at first intercourse was associated with M genitalium infection.
We conclude that the prevalence of infection in the general population is too low for population‐based screening. However, the development of test algorithms based on behavioural risk factors is a promising alternative.
Legionella is a common cause of bacterial pneumonia. Community-acquired [CAL] and hospital-acquired legionellosis [HAL] may have different presentations and outcome. We aimed to compare clinical characteristics and examine predictors of mortality for CAL and HAL.
We identified hospitalized cases of legionellosis in 4 Danish counties from January 1995 to December 2005 using the Danish national surveillance system and databases at departments of clinical microbiology. Clinical and laboratory data were retrieved from medical records; vital status was obtained from the Danish Civil Registration System. We calculated 30- and 90-day case fatality rates and identified independent predictors of mortality using logistic regression analyses.
We included 272 cases of CAL and 60 cases of HAL. Signs and symptoms of HAL were less pronounced than for CAL and time from in-hospital symptoms to legionellosis diagnosis was shorter for CAL than for HAL (5.5 days vs. 12 days p < 0.001). Thirty-day case fatality was 12.9% for CAL and 33.3% for HAL; similarly 90-day case fatalities in the two groups were 15.8% and 55.0%, respectively. In a logistic regression analysis (excluding symptoms and laboratory tests) age >65 years (OR = 2.6, 95% CI: 1.1-5.9) and Charlson comorbidty index ≥2 (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.1-6.5) were associated with an increased risk of death in CAL. We identified no statistically significant predictors of 30-day mortality in HAL.
Signs and symptoms were less pronounced in HAL compared to CAL. Conversely, 30-day case fatality was almost 3 times higher. Clinical awareness is important for the timely diagnosis and treatment especially of HAL. There is a need for further studies of prognostic factors in order to improve the therapeutic approach to legionellosis and potentially reduce mortality.