Cronobacter sakazakii; infection; Taiwan; bacteria; adults; immunocompromised; infant formula
Brucellosis; Taiwan; zoonoses; bacteria
Mycobacterium abscessus; bacteremic lymphadenitis; Sjögren syndrome; showerheads; bacteria; Taiwan; letter
During 1996–2008, a total of 48 patients with listeriosis were identified at a Taiwan hospital. Average annual incidence increased from 0.029 to 0.118 cases per 1,000 admissions before and after January 2005. Serotype 1/2b predominated; serotype 4b emerged since 2004. Food monitoring and disease surveillance systems could help control listeriosis in Taiwan.
listeriosis; Listeria; bacteria; clustering; zoonoses; Taiwan; dispatch
This study investigated the clinical and microbiological characteristics of patients with recurrent bacteremia caused by the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-Acinetobacter baumannii (ACB) complex at a medical center. All ACB complex isolates associated with recurrent bacteremia were identified to the genomic species level using a 16S-23S rRNA gene intergenic spacer sequence-based method. Genotypes were determined by the random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns generated by arbitrarily primed PCR and by pulsotypes generated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Relapse of infection was defined as when the genotype of the recurrent isolate was identical to that of the original infecting strain. Reinfection was defined as when the genospecies or genotype of the recurrent isolate differed from that of the original isolate. From 2006 to 2008, 446 patients had ACB complex bacteremia and 25 (5.6%) had recurrent bacteremia caused by the ACB complex. Among the 25 patients, 12 (48%) had relapse of bacteremia caused by A. nosocomialis (n = 7) or A. baumannii (n = 5). Among the 13 patients with reinfection, 5 (38.5%) had reinfection caused by different genospecies of the ACB complex. Most of the patients were immunocompromised, and most of the infection foci were catheter-related bloodstream infections. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 33.3%. A. baumannii isolates had lower antimicrobial susceptibility rates than A. nosocomialis and A. pittii isolates. In conclusion, relapse of ACB complex bacteremia can develop in immunocompromised patients, especially those with central venous catheters. Molecular methods to identify the ACB complex to the genospecies level are essential for differentiating between reinfection and relapse of bacteremia caused by the ACB complex.
A retrospective observational study in Taiwan, 1998–2004, identified 92 patients with group G streptococcal bacteremia; 86 had Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis. The most common diagnosis was cellulitis (48 cases), followed by primary bacteremia (34 cases). Infection recurred in 9 patients. Mortality rate was low (3.3%); resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin was high.
Group G streptococcus; bacteremia; Taiwan; dispatch
*National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan,
This assay for interferon-γ can rapidly and accurately diagnose active tuberculosis in a disease-endemic area.
We evaluated an enzyme-linked immunospot assay for interferon-γ (T SPOT-TB) for rapid diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) in a disease-endemic area. From January to June 2005, patients whose clinical symptoms and radiographic findings were compatible with TB were recruited, and a blood sample was obtained for T SPOT-TB assay within 7 days of microbiologic studies. Sixty-five patients were studied, including 39 (60%) with active TB. Thirty-five (53.8%) patients had underlying medical conditions. Thirty-seven patients had positive cultures for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and 11 patients had positive cultures for nontuberculous mycobacteria. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the T SPOT-TB assay were 87.2%, 88.5%, 91.9%, and 82.1%, respectively. The accuracy of this test in diagnosing active TB is >80%, even in an area with a high incidence of nontuberculous mycobacteria disease.
Tuberculosis; ELISPOT; latent infection; interferon-γ; research
Enhanced molecular surveillance of virulent clones with higher competence can detect serotype switching.
From 2003 to 2005, we prospectively collected 118 isolates of pneumococci belonging to 7 serotypes to investigate their competence under the influence of the synthetic competence-stimulating peptides. The degree of competence of the various serotypes differed significantly. Serotype 6B had the highest competence, followed by serotypes 14, 19F, 9V, 23F, 3, and 18C. Isolates belonging to serotype 6B had greater genetic diversity than isolates belonging to serotype 3, which has high genetic clustering. Isolates belonging to serotypes 3 and 18C that were 100% sensitive to penicillin were significantly less competent than isolates belonging to serotypes 6B, 14, 19F, 9V, and 23F, which were frequently resistant to penicillin. Under the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine program, enhanced molecular surveillance of virulent clones with higher competence to detect serotype switching will become more important.
Streptococcus pneumoniae; competence; serotype; antimicrobial resistance; research
nontyphoid Salmonella; Salmonella enterica serotype Choleraesuis; empyema thoracis; letter
A total of 403 nonduplicate isolates of Clostridium difficile were collected at three major teaching hospitals representing northern, central, and southern Taiwan from January 2005 to December 2010. Of these 403 isolates, 170 (42.2%) were presumed to be nontoxigenic due to the absence of genes for toxins A or B or binary toxin. The remaining 233 (57.8%) isolates carried toxin A and B genes, and 39 (16.7%) of these also had binary toxin genes. The MIC90 of all isolates for fidaxomicin and rifaximin was 0.5 μg/ml (range, ≤0.015 to 0.5 μg/ml) and >128 μg/ml (range, ≤0.015 to >128 μg/ml), respectively. All isolates were susceptible to metronidazole (MIC90 of 0.5 μg/ml; range, ≤0.03 to 4 μg/ml). Two isolates had reduced susceptibility to vancomycin (MICs, 4 μg/ml). Only 13.6% of isolates were susceptible to clindamycin (MIC of ≤2 μg/ml). Nonsusceptibility to moxifloxacin (n = 81, 20.1%) was accompanied by single or multiple mutations in gyrA and gyrB genes in all but eight moxifloxacin-nonsusceptible isolates. Two previously unreported gyrB mutations might independently confer resistance (MIC, 16 μg/ml), Ser416 to Ala and Glu466 to Lys. Moxifloxacin-resistant isolates were cross-resistant to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, but some moxifloxacin-nonsusceptible isolates remained susceptible to gemifloxacin or nemonoxacin at 0.5 μg/ml. This study found the diversity of toxigenic and nontoxigenic strains of C. difficile in the health care setting in Taiwan. All isolates tested were susceptible to metronidazole and vancomycin. Fidaxomicin exhibited potent in vitro activity against all isolates tested, while the more than 10% of Taiwanese isolates with rifaximin MICs of ≥128 μg/ml raises concerns.
letter; coccidioidomycosis; disseminated; Taiwan
Vancomycin; Heteroresistance; Staphylococcus aureus; Taiwan; letter
SARS; Taiwan; reply
Clinical features of 84 patients with V. vulnificus infection are analyzed and molecular features of isolates are described.
Residents in Taiwan are often exposed to marine microorganisms through seafood and occupational exposure. The number of reported cases of infection attributable to this organism has increased since the first case was reported in 1985. The increasing number of cases may be caused by greater disease activity or improved recognition by clinicians or laboratory workers. We analyze a clinical-case series of 84 patients with Vibrio vulnificus infection from 1995 to 2000 and describe the molecular epidemiologic features of pathogens isolated from these patients. The spectrum of clinical manifestations and outcomes, options of antimicrobial therapy, and virulence mechanisms were investigated. Results of molecular typing of isolates from humans and marine environment in this country had a high genetic divergence among these isolates. Education and measures are needed to prevent this emerging disease.
Vibrio vulnificus; Taiwan; emerging; research
Of 193 emergency department workers exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), 9 (4.7%) were infected. Pneumonia developed in six workers, and assays showed anti-SARS immunoglobulin (Ig) M and IgG. The other three workers were IgM-positive and had lower IgG titers; in two, mild illness developed, and one remained asymptomatic.
SARS; serologic responses; emergency department workers
Taiwan has one of the highest levels of antibiotic-resistant pneumococcus in the world. Pneumococcal isolates not susceptible to penicillin first appeared in Taiwan in 1986; in 1995 an increase in the prevalence of nonsusceptibility to penicillins, extended-spectrum cephalosporins, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and macrolides as well as multidrug resistance began to be recognized. With the persistence of antibiotic selective pressure, resistance in some antibiotics reached a high plateau (β-lactam antibiotics) or continued to increase (macrolides), while novel resistance (fluoroquinolones) emerged in the last 3 years. Widespread distribution of some novel resistant 23F and 19F clones (and the international epidemic of 23F clones) contributes further to the rapid increase of resistance. Because Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major pathogen that causes community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections and meningitis in adults and children, antibiotic-resistance in this organism is a serious problem.
antimicrobial resistance; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Taiwan
A retrospective study was conducted at two medical centers in Taiwan to evaluate the clinical characteristics, outcomes, and risk factors for mortality among patients treated with a carbapenem for bacteremia caused by extended-spectrum-beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organisms. A total of 251 patients with bacteremia caused by ESBL-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates treated by a carbapenem were identified. Among these ESBL-producing isolates, rates of susceptibility to ertapenem (MICs ≤ 0.25 μg/ml) were 83.8% and 76.4%, respectively; those to meropenem were 100% and 99.3%, respectively; and those to imipenem were 100% and 97.9%, respectively. There were no significant differences in the critical illness rate (P = 0.1) or sepsis-related mortality rate (P = 0.2) for patients with bacteremia caused by ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae (140 isolates, 55.8%) and E. coli (111 isolates, 44.2%). Multivariate analysis of variables related to sepsis-related mortality revealed that the presence of severe sepsis (odds ratio [OR], 15.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.84 to 43.34; P < 0.001), hospital-onset bacteremia (OR, 4.65; 95% CI, 1.42 to 15.24; P = 0.01), and ertapenem-nonsusceptible isolates (OR, 5.12; 95% CI, 2.04 to 12.88; P = 0.001) were independent risk factors. The patients receiving inappropriate therapy had a higher sepsis-related mortality than those with appropriate therapy (P = 0.002), irrespective of ertapenem, imipenem, or meropenem therapy. Infections due to the ertapenem-susceptible isolates (MICs ≤ 0.25 μg/ml) were associated with a more favorable outcome than those due to ertapenem-nonsusceptible isolates (MICs > 0.25 μg/ml), if treated by a carbapenem. However, the mortality for patients with bacteremic episodes due to isolates with MICs of ≤0.5 μg/ml was similar to the mortality for those whose isolates had MICs of >0.5 μg/ml (P = 0.8). Such a finding supports the rationale of the current CLSI 2011 criteria for carbapenems for Enterobacteriaceae.
We describe 16 patients with bacteremia caused by Eggerthella lenta (n = 7), Paraeggerthella hongkongensis (n = 3), Eubacterium limosum (n = 4), Eubacterium callanderi (n = 1), and concomitant Eubacterium limosum/Eggerthella lenta (n = 1). Nine (56%) patients had polymicrobial bacteremia. The overall 60-day mortality rate was 19%, and all deaths occurred in patients with E. lenta bacteremia.
Fungal load quantification is a critical component of fungal community analyses. Limitation of current approaches for quantifying the fungal component in the human microbiome suggests the need for new broad-coverage techniques.
We analyzed 2,085 18S rRNA gene sequences from the SILVA database for assay design. We generated and quantified plasmid standards using a qPCR-based approach. We evaluated assay coverage against 4,968 sequences and performed assay validation following the Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines.
We designed FungiQuant, a TaqMan® qPCR assay targeting a 351 bp region in the fungal 18S rRNA gene. Our in silico analysis showed that FungiQuant is a perfect sequence match to 90.0% of the 2,617 fungal species analyzed. We showed that FungiQuant’s is 100% sensitive and its amplification efficiencies ranged from 76.3% to 114.5%, with r2-values of >0.99 against the 69 fungal species tested. Additionally, FungiQuant inter- and intra-run coefficients of variance ranged from <10% and <20%, respectively. We further showed that FungiQuant has a limit of quantification 25 copies and a limit of detection at 5 copies. Lastly, by comparing results from human-only background DNA with low-level fungal DNA, we showed that amplification in two or three of a FungiQuant performed in triplicate is statistically significant for true positive fungal detection.
FungiQuant has comprehensive coverage against diverse fungi and is a robust quantification and detection tool for delineating between true fungal detection and non-target human DNA.
Gordonia amicalis infection has never been reported in humans. We report here the first case of G. amicalis-related cutaneous infection after a traumatic injury. The isolate was confirmed by 16S rRNA sequencing analysis, and the patient responded well to repeated debridement and antibiotic treatment.
In this study, we demonstrated that 10′(Z), 13′(E)-heptadecadienylhydroquinone (HQ17-2), isolated from the lacquer tree, could decrease swarming motility and hemolysin activity but increase polymyxin B (PB) susceptibilityof Proteus mirabilis which is intrinsically highly-resistant to PB. The increased PB susceptibility induced by HQ17-2 was also observed in clinical isolates and biofilm-grown cells. HQ17-2 could inhibit swarming in the wild-type and rppA mutant but not in the rcsB mutant, indicating that HQ17-2 inhibits swarming through the RcsB-dependent pathway, a two-component signaling pathway negatively regulating swarming and virulence factor expression. The inhibition of hemolysin activity by HQ17-2 is also mediated through the RcsB-dependent pathway, because HQ17-2 could not inhibit hemolysin activity in the rcsB mutant. Moreover, the finding that HQ17-2 inhibits the expression of flhDC gene in the wild-type and rcsB-complemented strain but not in the rcsB mutant supports the notion. By contrast, HQ17-2 could increase PB susceptibility in the wild-type and rcsB mutant but not in the rppA mutant, indicating that HQ17-2 increases PB susceptibility through the RppA-dependent pathway, a signaling pathway positively regulating PB resistance. In addition, HQ17-2 could inhibit the promoter activities of rppA and pmrI, a gene positively regulated by RppA and involved in PB resistance, in the wild-type but not in the rppA mutant. The inhibition of rppA and pmrI expression caused lipopolysaccharide purified from HQ17-2-treated cells to have higher affinity for PB. Altogether, this study uncovers new biological effects of HQ17-2 and provides evidence for the potential of HQ17-2 in clinical applications.
Antimicrobial resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a serious concern worldwide, particularly in Asian countries, despite the introduction of heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). The Asian Network for Surveillance of Resistant Pathogens (ANSORP) performed a prospective surveillance study of 2,184 S. pneumoniae isolates collected from patients with pneumococcal infections from 60 hospitals in 11 Asian countries from 2008 to 2009. Among nonmeningeal isolates, the prevalence rate of penicillin-nonsusceptible pneumococci (MIC, ≥4 μg/ml) was 4.6% and penicillin resistance (MIC, ≥8 μg/ml) was extremely rare (0.7%). Resistance to erythromycin was very prevalent in the region (72.7%); the highest rates were in China (96.4%), Taiwan (84.9%), and Vietnam (80.7%). Multidrug resistance (MDR) was observed in 59.3% of isolates from Asian countries. Major serotypes were 19F (23.5%), 23F (10.0%), 19A (8.2%), 14 (7.3%), and 6B (7.3%). Overall, 52.5% of isolates showed PCV7 serotypes, ranging from 16.1% in Philippines to 75.1% in Vietnam. Serotypes 19A (8.2%), 3 (6.2%), and 6A (4.2%) were the most prominent non-PCV7 serotypes in the Asian region. Among isolates with serotype 19A, 86.0% and 79.8% showed erythromycin resistance and MDR, respectively. The most remarkable findings about the epidemiology of S. pneumoniae in Asian countries after the introduction of PCV7 were the high prevalence of macrolide resistance and MDR and distinctive increases in serotype 19A.
To understand the high prevalence of fusB genes in fusidic acid-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis, analysis of resistance elements in 34 isolates was performed. First, sequence analysis of the aj1-LP-fusB region indicated that at least three types were present. Type I contained full-length aj1, type II contained a partial aj1 truncated from nucleotide position 93 to 421, and type III contained a more truncated aj1 that retained only the last 37 bp. Isolates with type I or type II aj1 displayed slightly higher levels of resistance to fusidic acid (MICs, 8 to 32 μg/ml) than did those with type III aj1 (MICs, 4 to 16 μg/ml). Subsequent sequencing of the flanking regions of fusB from four selected isolates carrying different types of aj1-LP-fusB regions revealed that the fusB genes were all located on phage-related resistance islands (RIs), referred to as SeRIfusB-2793, SeRIfusB-704, SeRIfusB-5907, and SeRIfusB-7778, respectively. Among them, three islands (SeRIfusB-2793, SeRIfusB-704, and SeRIfusB-5907) were located downstream of groEL (corresponding to the 44-min position based on Staphylococcus aureus whole genomic sequences), and one (SeRIfusB-7778) was located downstream of rpsR (corresponding to the 8-min position). All of the RIs were inserted into integrase-recognized att sites. Among 34 isolates, the insertion sites of fusB RIs were mostly (28/34, 82%) located downstream of groEL and two were located downstream of rpsR, but four remained unidentified. The pulsotype distribution indicated that fusB-containing S. epidermidis isolates were heterogeneous. In conclusion, the fusB resistance determinant in S. epidermidis was highly associated with phage-related RIs. This is the first report of fusB RI in S. epidermidis.
Although Escherichia fergusonii has been identified for decades, it has rarely been recovered from clinical specimens and its clinical significance remains unclear. We describe a case of E. fergusonii bacteremia in a diabetic patient with pancreatic cancer. The isolate was confirmed by three commercial identification systems and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The patient's clinical condition gradually improved, and repeated blood cultures were negative after antibiotic treatment with an in vitro active agent (ceftriaxone).