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1.  Herpes Viral Origin of the Parsonage-Turner Syndrome: Highlighting of Serological Immune Anti-Herpes Deficiency Cured by Anti-Herpes Therapy 
Case Reports in Neurology  2015;7(2):110-114.
In 2012, a 50 year-old athletic male presented with weakness, pain and unilateral phrenic paralysis, followed by bilateral phrenic paralysis with deep dyspnea. In 2013, the Parsonage-Turner syndrome was diagnosed. When the patient was seen in September 2014 for the first time, he was facing phrenic neuromuscular failure, which led to the hypothesis of neurotropic herpes viruses. A control of the global serological anti-Herpes immunity to analyze his antibody (Ab) levels confirmed herpes immune genetic deficiency. An appropriate herpes chemotherapy treatment was proposed. Immediately, a spectacular recovery of the patient was observed, and after a few weeks, the respiratory function tests showed normal values. The hypothesis of the inductive role of viruses of the herpes family in the Parsonage-Turner syndrome was thus substantiated. The patient's immune deficiency covers the HSV2, HHV3, HHV4, HHV5 and HHV6 Ab levels. This led to the control of herpes in the family lineage: indeed, his daughter presented alterations of her serological herpes Ab levels.
PMCID: PMC4463779  PMID: 26078744
Parsonage-Turner syndrome; Neuralgic amyotrophy; Bilateral phrenic paralysis; Neurotropic herpes virus occurrences; Appropriate anti-herpes therapy
2.  Atovaquone-proguanil in the treatment of imported uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a prospective observational study of 553 cases 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:399.
Each year, thousands of cases of uncomplicated malaria are imported into Europe by travellers. Atovaquone-proguanil (AP) has been one of the first-line regimens used in France for uncomplicated malaria for almost ten years. While AP’s efficacy and tolerance were evaluated in several trials, its use in “real life” conditions has never been described. This study aimed to describe outcome and tolerance after AP treatment in a large cohort of travellers returning from endemic areas.
Between September 2002 and January 2007, uncomplicated malaria treated in nine French travel clinics with AP were followed for 30 days after AP initiation. Clinical and biological data were collected at admission and during the follow-up.
A total of 553 patients were included. Eighty-eight percent of them were born in Africa, and 61.8% were infected in West Africa, whereas 0.5% were infected in Asia. Migrants visiting friends and relatives (VFR) constituted 77.9% of the patients, the remainder (32.1%) were backpackers. Three-hundred and sixty-four patients (66%) fulfilled follow-up at day 7 and 265 (48%) completed the study at day 30. Three patients had treatment failure. One-hundred and seventy-seven adverse drug reactions (ADR) were reported during the follow-up; 115 (77%) of them were digestive ADR. Backpackers were more likely to experiment digestive ADR compared to VFR (OR = 3.8; CI 95% [1.8-8.2]). Twenty patients had to be switched to another regimen due to ADR.
This study seems to be the largest in terms of number of imported uncomplicated malaria cases treated by AP. The high rate of reported digestive ADR is striking and should be taken into account in the follow-up of patients since it could affect their adherence to the treatment. Beside AP, artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is now recommended as first-line regimen. A comparison of AP and ACT, in terms of efficacy and tolerance, would be useful.
PMCID: PMC3831254  PMID: 24200190
Atovaquone-proguanil; Imported; Uncomplicated; Malaria; Tolerance
3.  Imported Amoebic Liver Abscess in France 
Worldwide, amoebic liver abscess (ALA) can be found in individuals in non-endemic areas, especially in foreign-born travelers.
We performed a retrospective analysis of ALA in patients admitted to French hospitals between 2002 and 2006. We compared imported ALA cases in European and foreign-born patients and assessed the factors associated with abscess size using a logistic regression model.
We investigated 90 ALA cases. Patient median age was 41. The male:female ratio was 3.5∶1. We were able to determine the origin for 75 patients: 38 were European-born and 37 foreign-born. With respect to clinical characteristics, no significant difference was observed between European and foreign-born patients except a longer lag time between the return to France after traveling abroad and the onset of symptoms for foreign-born. Factors associated with an abscess size of more than 69 mm were being male (OR = 11.25, p<0.01), aged more than 41 years old (OR = 3.63, p = 0.02) and being an immigrant (OR = 11.56, p = 0.03). Percutaneous aspiration was not based on initial abscess size but was carried out significantly more often on patients who were admitted to surgical units (OR = 10, p<0.01). The median time to abscess disappearance for 24 ALA was 7.5 months.
In this study on imported ALA was one of the largest worldwide in terms of the number of cases included males, older patients and foreign-born patients presented with larger abscesses, suggesting that hormonal and immunological factors may be involved in ALA physiopathology. The long lag time before developing ALA after returning to a non-endemic area must be highlighted to clinicians so that they will consider Entamoeba histolytica as a possible pathogen of liver abscesses more often.
Author Summary
Amœbiasis is caused by Entamoeba histolytica (E. histolytica), a protozoan specific to humans which infects humans by ingestion of contaminated food and water. According to some authors, amœbiasis could be the second leading cause of death from parasitic disease worldwide. It is endemic in tropical countries but can also be diagnosed in industrialized countries, essentially in travelers. One of its main clinical manifestations is amoebic liver abscess (ALA). Abscess can be medically treated by metronidazole, but percutaneous aspiration of the abscess is sometimes performed. Few studies have been performed so far regarding the existence of cases of ALA in the industrialized world. The results of our study reported the existence of 90 cases of imported ALA in France which should raise interest among physicians as well as tourists traveling to endemic areas. Male adults and foreign-born patients presented larger abscesses, suggesting that hormonal and immunological factors could be involved in ALA physiopathology. Foreign-born patients had a longer lag time between the return to France after traveling abroad and the onset of symptoms than European-born ones. This must be highlighted to clinicians who should think about this diagnostic even if a recent travel in a tropical area is not notified by patients.
PMCID: PMC3738465  PMID: 23951372
5.  Critical care management and outcome of severe Pneumocystis pneumonia in patients with and without HIV infection 
Critical Care  2008;12(1):R28.
Little is known about the most severe forms of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) in HIV-negative as compared with HIV-positive patients. Improved knowledge about the differential characteristics and management modalities could guide treatment based on HIV status.
We retrospectively compared 72 patients (73 cases, 46 HIV-positive) admitted for PCP from 1993 to 2006 in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a university hospital.
The yearly incidence of ICU admissions for PCP in HIV-negative patients increased from 1993 (0%) to 2006 (6.5%). At admission, all but one non-HIV patient were receiving corticosteroids. Twenty-three (85%) HIV-negative patients were receiving an additional immunosuppressive treatment. At admission, HIV-negative patients were significantly older than HIV-positive patients (64 [18 to 82] versus 37 [28 to 56] years old) and had a significantly higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) II (38 [13 to 90] versus 27 [11 to 112]) but had a similar PaO2/FiO2 (arterial partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen) ratio (160 [61 to 322] versus 183 [38 to 380] mm Hg). Ventilatory support was required in a similar proportion of HIV-negative and HIV-positive cases (78% versus 61%), with a similar proportion of first-line non-invasive ventilation (NIV) (67% versus 54%). NIV failed in 71% of HIV-negative and in 13% of HIV-positive patients (p < 0.01). Mortality was significantly higher in HIV-negative than HIV-positive cases (48% versus 17%). The HIV-negative status (odds ratio 3.73, 95% confidence interval 1.10 to 12.60) and SAPS II (odds ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.12) were independently associated with mortality at multivariate analysis.
The yearly incidence of ICU admissions for PCP in HIV-negative patients in our unit increased from 1993 to 2006. The course of the disease and the outcome were worse in HIV-negative patients. NIV often failed in HIV-negative cases, suggesting that NIV must be watched closely in this population.
PMCID: PMC2374632  PMID: 18304356

Results 1-5 (5)