Coated vesicles mediate the traffic of secretory and membrane cargo proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus. The coat protein complex (COPII) involved in vesicle budding is constituted by a GTPase, Sar1, the inner coat components of Sec23/Sec24 and the components of the outer coat Sec13/Sec31A. The Ca2+-binding protein ALG-2 was recently identified as a Sec31A binding partner and a possible link to Ca2+ regulation of COPII vesicle budding. Here we show that ALG-2/Ca2+ is capable of attenuating vesicle budding in vitro through interaction with an ALG-2 binding domain in the proline rich region of Sec31A. Binding of ALG-2 to Sec31A and inhibition of COPII vesicle budding is furthermore dependent on an intact Ca2+-binding site at EF-hand 1 of ALG-2. ALG-2 increased recruitment of COPII proteins Sec23/24 and Sec13/31A to artificial liposomes and was capable of mediating binding of Sec13/31A to Sec23. These results introduce a regulatory role for ALG-2/Ca2+ in COPII tethering and vesicle budding.
Purpose. In neocortical epilepsies not satisfactorily responsive to systemic antiepileptic drug therapy, local application of antiepileptic agents onto the epileptic focus may enhance treatment efficacy and tolerability. We describe the effects of focally applied valproate (VPA) in a newly emerging rat model of neocortical epilepsy induced by tetanus toxin (TeT) plus cobalt chloride (CoCl2). Methods. In rats, VPA (n = 5) or sodium chloride (NaCl) (n = 5) containing polycaprolactone (PCL) implants were applied onto the right motor cortex treated before with a triple injection of 75 ng TeT plus 15 mg CoCl2. Video-EEG monitoring was performed with intracortical depth electrodes. Results. All rats randomized to the NaCl group died within one week after surgery. In contrast, the rats treated with local VPA survived significantly longer (P < 0.01). In both groups, witnessed deaths occurred in the context of seizures. At least 3/4 of the rats surviving the first postoperative day developed neocortical epilepsy with recurrent spontaneous seizures. Conclusions. The novel TeT/CoCl2 approach targets at a new model of neocortical epilepsy in rats and allows the investigation of local epilepsy therapy strategies. In this vehicle-controlled study, local application of VPA significantly enhanced survival in rats, possibly by focal antiepileptic or antiepileptogenic mechanisms.
We developed a single-tube multiplex real-time PCR assay capable of simultaneously detecting and discriminating Legionella spp., Legionella pneumophila, and Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 in primary specimens. Evaluation of 21 clinical specimens and 115 clinical isolates demonstrated this assay to be a rapid, high-throughput diagnostic test with 100% specificity that may aid during legionellosis outbreaks and epidemiologic investigations.
Identification of etiology remains a significant challenge in the diagnosis of infectious diseases, particularly in resource-poor settings. Viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens, as well as parasites, play a role for many syndromes, and optimizing a single diagnostic system to detect a range of pathogens is challenging. The TaqMan Array Card (TAC) is a multiple-pathogen detection method that has previously been identified as a valuable technique for determining etiology of infections and holds promise for expanded use in clinical microbiology laboratories and surveillance studies. We selected TAC for use in the Aetiology of Neonatal Infection in South Asia (ANISA) study for identifying etiologies of severe disease in neonates in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Here we report optimization of TAC to improve pathogen detection and overcome technical challenges associated with use of this technology in a large-scale surveillance study. Specifically, we increased the number of assay replicates, implemented a more robust RT-qPCR enzyme formulation, and adopted a more efficient method for extraction of total nucleic acid from blood specimens. We also report the development and analytical validation of ten new assays for use in the ANISA study. Based on these data, we revised the study-specific TACs for detection of 22 pathogens in NP/OP swabs and 12 pathogens in blood specimens as well as two control reactions (internal positive control and human nucleic acid control) for each specimen type. The cumulative improvements realized through these optimization studies will benefit ANISA and perhaps other studies utilizing multiple-pathogen detection approaches. These lessons may also contribute to the expansion of TAC technology to the clinical setting.
The 5′-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is considered “a metabolic master-switch” in skeletal muscle reducing ATP- consuming processes whilst stimulating ATP regeneration. Within recent years, AMPK has also been proposed as a potential target to attenuate insulin resistance, although the exact role of AMPK is not well understood. Here we hypothesized that mice lacking α2AMPK activity in muscle would be more susceptible to develop insulin resistance associated with ageing alone or in combination with high fat diet. Young (∼4 month) or old (∼18 month) wild type and muscle specific α2AMPK kinase-dead mice on chow diet as well as old mice on 17 weeks of high fat diet were studied for whole body glucose homeostasis (OGTT, ITT and HOMA-IR), insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in muscle. We demonstrate that high fat diet in old mice results in impaired glucose homeostasis and insulin stimulated glucose uptake in both the soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscle, coinciding with reduced insulin signaling at the level of Akt (pSer473 and pThr308), TBC1D1 (pThr590) and TBC1D4 (pThr642). In contrast to our hypothesis, the impact of ageing and high fat diet on insulin action was not worsened in mice lacking functional α2AMPK in muscle. It is concluded that α2AMPK deficiency in mouse skeletal muscle does not cause muscle insulin resistance in young and old mice and does not exacerbate obesity-induced insulin resistance in old mice suggesting that decreased α2AMPK activity does not increase susceptibility for insulin resistance in skeletal muscle.
In this study, we evaluated a recently developed multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) method for the molecular typing of Mycoplasma pneumoniae. The method is based on GeneScan analysis of five VNTR loci throughout the genome which define a specific genotype based on the number of tandem repeats within each locus. A retrospective analysis of 154 M. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over the last 50 years and a limited (n = 4) number of M. pneumoniae-positive primary specimens acquired by the CDC was performed using MLVA. Eighteen distinct VNTR types were identified, including two previously unidentified VNTR types. Isolates from several M. pneumoniae community outbreaks within the United States were also analyzed to examine clonality of a specific MLVA type. Observed in vitro variability of the Mpn1 VNTR locus prompted further analysis, which showed multiple insertions or deletions of tandem repeats within this locus for a number of specimens and isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing variation within the Mpn1 locus, thus affecting precise and reliable classification using the current MLVA typing system. The superior discriminatory capability of MLVA provides a powerful tool for greater resolution of M. pneumoniae strains and could be useful during outbreaks and epidemiological investigations.
The European spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus, and the North American mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), are severe pests of coniferous forests. Both bark beetle species utilize aggregation pheromones to coordinate mass-attacks on host trees, while odorants from host and non-host trees modulate the pheromone response. Thus, the bark beetle olfactory sense is of utmost importance for fitness. However, information on the genes underlying olfactory detection has been lacking in bark beetles and is limited in Coleoptera. We assembled antennal transcriptomes from next-generation sequencing of I. typographus and D. ponderosae to identify members of the major chemosensory multi-gene families.
Gene ontology (GO) annotation indicated that the relative abundance of transcripts associated with specific GO terms was highly similar in the two species. Transcripts with terms related to olfactory function were found in both species. Focusing on the chemosensory gene families, we identified 15 putative odorant binding proteins (OBP), 6 chemosensory proteins (CSP), 3 sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMP), 43 odorant receptors (OR), 6 gustatory receptors (GR), and 7 ionotropic receptors (IR) in I. typographus; and 31 putative OBPs, 11 CSPs, 3 SNMPs, 49 ORs, 2 GRs, and 15 IRs in D. ponderosae. Predicted protein sequences were compared with counterparts in the flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, the cerambycid beetle, Megacyllene caryae, and the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. The most notable result was found among the ORs, for which large bark beetle-specific expansions were found. However, some clades contained receptors from all four beetle species, indicating a degree of conservation among some coleopteran OR lineages. Putative GRs for carbon dioxide and orthologues for the conserved antennal IRs were included in the identified receptor sets.
The protein families important for chemoreception have now been identified in three coleopteran species (four species for the ORs). Thus, this study allows for improved evolutionary analyses of coleopteran olfaction. Identification of these proteins in two of the most destructive forest pests, sharing many semiochemicals, is especially important as they might represent novel targets for population control.
Ips typographus; Dendroctonus ponderosae; Gene ontology; Transcriptome; Odorant receptor; Ionotropic receptor; Gustatory receptor; Odorant binding protein; Chemosensory Protein; Sensory neuron membrane protein
Metformin is used as an anti-diabetic drug. Metformin ameliorates insulin resistance by improving insulin sensitivity in liver and skeletal muscle. Reduced mitochondrial content has been reported in type 2 diabetic muscles and it may contribute to decreased insulin sensitivity characteristic for diabetic muscles. The molecular mechanism behind the effect of metformin is not fully clarified but inhibition of complex I in the mitochondria and also activation of the 5′AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been reported in muscle. Furthermore, both AMPK activation and metformin treatment have been associated with stimulation of mitochondrial function and biogenesis. However, a causal relationship in skeletal muscle has not been investigated. We hypothesized that potential effects of in vivo metformin treatment on mitochondrial function and protein expressions in skeletal muscle are dependent upon AMPK signaling. We investigated this by two weeks of oral metformin treatment of muscle specific kinase dead α2 (KD) AMPK mice and wild type (WT) littermates. We measured mitochondrial respiration and protein activity and expressions of key enzymes involved in mitochondrial carbohydrate and fat metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation. Mitochondrial respiration, HAD and CS activity, PDH and complex I-V and cytochrome c protein expression were all reduced in AMPK KD compared to WT tibialis anterior muscles. Surprisingly, metformin treatment only enhanced respiration in AMPK KD mice and thereby rescued the respiration defect compared to the WT mice. Metformin did not influence protein activities or expressions in either WT or AMPK KD mice.
We conclude that two weeks of in vivo metformin treatment enhances mitochondrial respiration in the mitochondrial deficient AMPK KD but not WT mice. The improvement seems to be unrelated to AMPK, and does not involve changes in key mitochondrial proteins.
During acute infection in human and animal hosts, the obligate intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects a variety of cell types, including leukocytes. Poised to respond to invading pathogens, dendritic cells (DC) may also be exploited by T. gondii for spread in the infected host. Here, we report that human and mouse myeloid DC possess functional γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and the machinery for GABA biosynthesis and secretion. Shortly after T. gondii infection (genotypes I, II and III), DC responded with enhanced GABA secretion in vitro. We demonstrate that GABA activates GABAA receptor-mediated currents in T. gondii-infected DC, which exhibit a hypermigratory phenotype. Inhibition of GABA synthesis, transportation or GABAA receptor blockade in T. gondii-infected DC resulted in impaired transmigration capacity, motility and chemotactic response to CCL19 in vitro. Moreover, exogenous GABA or supernatant from infected DC restored the migration of infected DC in vitro. In a mouse model of toxoplasmosis, adoptive transfer of infected DC pre-treated with GABAergic inhibitors reduced parasite dissemination and parasite loads in target organs, e.g. the central nervous system. Altogether, we provide evidence that GABAergic signaling modulates the migratory properties of DC and that T. gondii likely makes use of this pathway for dissemination. The findings unveil that GABA, the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, has activation functions in the immune system that may be hijacked by intracellular pathogens.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite and an important food- and water-borne human and veterinary pathogen. Toxoplasmosis is normally self-limiting but severe manifestations occur upon congenital transmission to the developing fetus or during infection in immune-compromised individuals. Toxoplasma invades a variety of cell types and mounting evidence shows that certain white blood cells, e.g. dendritic cells, can shuttle parasites in the infected host by a Trojan horse type of mechanism. Dendritic cells are considered the gatekeepers of the immune system but can, paradoxically, also mediate dissemination of the parasite. Previous work has shown that Toxoplasma induces a hypermigratory state in dendritic cells when they become infected. Here, we show that, shortly after infection by the parasite, dendritic cells start secreting γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), also known as the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. We show that dendritic cells express GABA receptors, as well as the machinery to synthesize and transport GABA. When GABA synthesis, transport or receptor function was inhibited, the migration of infected dendritic cells was impaired. In a mouse model of toxoplasmosis, treatment of infected dendritic cells with GABA inhibitors resulted in reduced propagation of the parasite. This study establishes that GABAergic signaling modulates the migratory properties of dendritic cells and that the intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii sequesters the GABAergic signaling of dendritic cells to assure propagation.
The genus Bartonella includes numerous species with varied host associations, including several that infect humans. Development of a molecular diagnostic method capable of detecting the diverse repertoire of Bartonella species while maintaining genus specificity has been a challenge. We developed a novel real-time PCR assay targeting a 301-bp region of the ssrA gene of Bartonella and demonstrated specific amplification in over 30 Bartonella species, subspecies, and strains. Subsequent analysis of ssrA sequences was sufficient to discriminate Bartonella species and provided phylogenetic data consistent with that of gltA, a commonly used gene for differentiating Bartonella genotypes. Using this assay, we identified Bartonella DNA in 29% and 47% of blood specimens from elk in Wyoming and cattle in the Republic of Georgia, respectively. Sequence analysis of a subset of genotypes from elk specimens revealed a cluster most closely related to Bartonella capreoli, and genotypes from cattle were identified as Bartonella bovis, both Bartonella species commonly found in wild and domestic ruminants. Considering the widespread geographic distribution and infectivity potential to a variety of hosts, this assay may be an effective diagnostic method for identification of Bartonella infections in humans and have utility in Bartonella surveillance studies.
During a pneumococcal disease outbreak in a pediatric psychiatric unit in a hospital in Rhode Island, USA, 6 (30%) of 20 patients and staff were colonized with Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 15A, which is not included in pneumococcal vaccines. The outbreak subsided after implementation of antimicrobial drug prophylaxis and enhanced infection control measures.
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal infections; pneumonia; pneumococcal; serotype 15A; bacteria; antibiotic; antibacterial; disease outbreak; antimicrobial drugs
Recently we evaluated a custom TaqMan array card (TAC) detection system, formerly known as a TaqMan low-density array (TLDA) card, for simultaneous real-time PCR identification of 21 pathogens and three control targets in duplicate from respiratory specimens (M. Kodani et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 49:2175–2182, 2011). We engineered an adaptable and expandable system of in vitro RNA transcripts to serve as a combined positive control for both DNA and RNA targets in multiple-pathogen-detection technologies based on real-time reverse transcription-PCR.
We assessed the performance of a recently validated real-time PCR assay and a commercially available microimmunofluorescence serologic test for the detection of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection during an outbreak. Evaluation of specimens from 137 individuals suggests that real-time PCR holds greater utility as a diagnostic tool for early C. pneumoniae detection.
Background and purpose
In 2002–2003, several hospitals in Norway introduced the Ponseti method for treating clubfoot. The present multicenter study was conducted to evaluate the initial results of this method, and to compare them to the good results reported in the literature.
Patients and methods
116 children with 162 congenital idiopathic clubfeet who were born between 2004 and 2006 were treated with the Ponseti method at 8 hospitals in Norway. All children were prospectively registered at birth, and 116 feet were assessed according to Pirani before treatment was started. 63% used a standard bilateral foot abduction brace, and 32% used a unilateral above-the-knee brace. One of the authors examined all feet at a mean age of 4 years. At follow-up, all feet were assessed by Pirani’s scoring system, and range of motion of the foot and ankle was measured.
At follow-up, 77% of the feet had a Pirani score of 0.5 or better, good dorsiflexion and external rotation, and no forefoot adduction. An Achilles tenotomy had been performed in 79% of the feet. Compliance to any brace was good; only 7% were defined as non-compliant. Extensive soft tissue release had been performed in 3% of the feet.
We found no statistically significant differences between the two braces, except a tendency of better Pirani score in the group using the bilateral foot abduction brace, and a tendency of better compliance in patients using the unilateral brace. Better Pirani scores were found in children who were treated at the largest hospitals.
After introducing the Ponseti method in Norway, the clinical outcome was good and in accordance with the reports from single centers. Only 5 feet needed extensive surgery during the first 4 years of life.
The codling moth, Cydia pomonella, is an important fruit pest worldwide. As nocturnal animals, adults depend to a large extent on olfactory cues for detection of food and mates, and, for females, oviposition sites. In insects, odor detection is mediated by odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs), which ensure the specificity of the olfactory sensory neuron responses. In this study, our aim was to identify chemosensory receptors in the codling moth as a means to uncover new targets for behavioral interference. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, we identified a total of 43 candidate ORs, one gustatory receptor and 15 IRs in the antennal transcriptome. Through Blast and sequence similarity analyses we annotated the insect obligatory co-receptor ORco, five genes clustering in a conserved clade containing sex pheromone receptors, one homolog of the Bombyx mori female-enriched receptor BmorOR30 (but no homologs of the other B. mori female-enriched receptors) and one gene clustering in the sugar receptor family. Among the candidate IRs, we identified homologs of the two highly conserved co-receptors IR8a and IR25a, and one homolog of an IR involved in phenylethyl amine detection in Drosophila. Our results open for functional characterization of the chemosensory receptors of C. pomonella, with potential for new or refined applications of semiochemicals for control of this pest insect.
Aim. The aim of this study was to see whether the benefits of crossed wire fixation over skeletal traction in the treatment of pediatric supracondylar humerus fractures (SCHF) were mirrored in the children's or their caregivers' rating of the experience. Methods. As part of a study of the clinical outcome of SCHF, all the patients and the parents were asked to rate their experience of the treatment on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Results. There was no difference in the patients' or the parents' experience between the treatment groups. However there was a difference between the parents with children who experienced a neurovascular complication (mean VAS 6.1) and those that did not (mean VAS 4.3, P = 0.03). The boys rated the experience as less negative (mean VAS 3.6) than the girls (mean VAS 4.7, P = 0.02). Conclusion. In the long term, avoiding complications was more important to the parents than the choice of treatment for SCHF in the children.
Disseminated toxoplasmosis in the central nervous system (CNS) is often accompanied by a lethal outcome. Studies with murine models of infection have focused on the role of systemic immunity in control of toxoplasmic encephalitis, while knowledge remains limited on the contributions of resident cells with immune functions in the CNS. In this study, the role of glial cells was addressed in the setting of recrudescent Toxoplasma infection in mice. Activated astrocytes and microglia were observed in the close vicinity of foci with replicating parasites in situ in the brain parenchyma. Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites were allowed to infect primary microglia and astrocytes in vitro. Microglia were permissive to parasite replication, and infected microglia readily transmigrated across transwell membranes and cell monolayers. Thus, infected microglia, but not astrocytes, exhibited a hypermotility phenotype reminiscent of that recently described for infected dendritic cells. In contrast to gamma interferon-activated microglia, Toxoplasma-infected microglia did not upregulate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules and the costimulatory molecule CD86. Yet Toxoplasma-infected microglia and astrocytes exhibited increased sensitivity to T cell-mediated killing, leading to rapid parasite transfer to effector T cells in vitro. We hypothesize that glial cells and T cells, besides their role in triggering antiparasite immunity, may also act as “Trojan horses,” paradoxically facilitating dissemination of Toxoplasma within the CNS. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report of migratory activation of a resident CNS cell by an intracellular parasite.
Members of the Gram-negative genus Legionella are typically found in freshwater environments, with the exception of L. longbeachae, which is present in composts and potting mixes. When contaminated aerosols are inhaled, legionellosis may result, typically as either the more serious pneumonia Legionnaires' disease or the less severe flu-like illness Pontiac fever. It is presumed that all species of the genus Legionella are capable of causing disease in humans. As a followup to a prior clinical study of legionellosis in rural Thailand, indigenous soil samples were collected proximal to cases' homes and workplaces and tested for the presence of legionellae by culture. We obtained 115 isolates from 22/39 soil samples and used sequence-based methods to identify 12 known species of Legionella represented by 87 isolates.
The large and growing number of viral and bacterial pathogens responsible for respiratory infections poses a challenge for laboratories seeking to provide rapid and comprehensive pathogen identification. We evaluated a novel application of the TaqMan low-density array (TLDA) cards for real-time PCR detection of 21 respiratory-pathogen targets. The performance of the TLDA was compared to that of individual real-time PCR (IRTP) assays with the same primers and probes using (i) nucleic acids extracted from the 21 pathogen strains and 66 closely related viruses and bacteria and (ii) 292 clinical respiratory specimens. With spiked samples, TLDA cards were about 10-fold less sensitive than IRTP assays. By using 292 clinical specimens to generate 2,238 paired individual assays, the TLDA card exhibited 89% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI], 86 to 92%; range per target, 47 to 100%) and 98% specificity (95% CI, 97 to 99%; range per target, 85 to 100%) overall compared to IRTP assays as the gold standard with a threshold cycle (CT) cutoff of 43. The TLDA card approach offers promise for rapid and simultaneous identification of multiple respiratory pathogens for outbreak investigations and disease surveillance.
At Haukeland University Hospital (HUH), we used overhead skeletal traction for displaced supracondylar humerus fractures (SCHF) in children until closed reduction and crossed wire fixation was introduced in the early 1990s. Though there are obvious and well-documented benefits of wire fixation, the aim of this study was to document and compare the results and complication rates for both methods.
Patients and methods
One hundred and thirty-nine patients treated for SCHF between 1988 and 1998 were available for follow-up. Of these, 40 children were treated with a plaster cast, 46 with overhead skeletal traction and 45 with crossed wire fixation. Eight children were treated with open reduction and crossed wires. The mean time to follow-up was 7.1 years [standard deviation (SD) 3.2].
The length of hospital stay was 2 days for those treated with crossed wire fixation compared to 11 days for traction (P < 0.001). The rate of nerve injury in Gartland type 3 fractures was 19%. There was no significant difference in the number of complications or in the functional outcome after skeletal traction or wire fixation, but there were more reoperations in the traction group (P = 0.04). Patients treated solely with a plaster cast had a mean of 4° increased extension of the affected elbow compared to 1° in the crossed pin fixation group (P = 0.02). Though this has little clinical relevance, it does indicate improved reduction in the operated patients, as one would expect.
The introduction of crossed wire fixation has significantly reduced the number of days for which patients are hospitalised for SCHF. The rate of nerve injuries in Gartland type 3 fractures is high. Despite the fact that this study includes the first patients to be treated with crossed wire fixation at our institution, no significant increase in the risk of complications could be found compared to skeletal traction.
Paediatric fracture; Supracondylar humerus fracture; Skeletal traction; Crossed wire fixation; Complications; Outcome
The number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood of metastatic breast cancer patients is now an established prognostic marker. While the central nervous system (CNS) is a common site of metastasis in breast cancer, the standard marker for disease progression in this setting is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology. However, the significance of CSF cytology is unclear, requires large sample size, is insensitive and subjective, and sometimes yields equivocal results. Here, we report the detection of breast cancer cells in CSF using molecular markers by adapting the CellSearch system (Veridex). We used this platform to isolate and enumerate breast cancer cells in CSF of breast cancer patients with central nervous system metastases. The number of CSF tumor cells correlated with tumor response to chemotherapy and were dynamically associated with disease burden. This CSF tumor cell detection method provides a semi-automated molecular analysis that vastly improves the sensitivity, reliability, objectivity, and accuracy of detecting CSF tumor cells compared to CSF cytology. CSF tumor cells may serve as a marker of disease progression and early-stage brain metastasis in breast cancer and potentiate further molecular analysis to elucidate the biology and significance of tumor cells in the CSF.
circulating tumor cells; carcinomatous meningitis; breast cancer; brain metastases; intrathecal chemotherapy; cancer monitoring
Compared to the civilian population, military trainees are often at increased risk for respiratory infections. We investigated an outbreak of radiologically-confirmed pneumonia that was recognized after 2 fatal cases of serotype 7F pneumococcal meningitis were reported in a 303-person military trainee company (Alpha Company).
We reviewed surveillance data on pneumonia and febrile respiratory illness at the training facility; conducted chart reviews for cases of radiologically-confirmed pneumonia; and administered surveys and collected nasopharyngeal swabs from trainees in the outbreak battalion (Alpha and Hotel Companies), associated training staff, and trainees newly joining the battalion.
Among Alpha and Hotel Company trainees, the average weekly attack rates of radiologically-confirmed pneumonia were 1.4% and 1.2% (most other companies at FLW: 0-0.4%). The pneumococcal carriage rate among all Alpha Company trainees was 15% with a predominance of serotypes 7F and 3. Chlamydia pneumoniae was identified from 31% of specimens collected from Alpha Company trainees with respiratory symptoms.
Although the etiology of the outbreak remains unclear, the identification of both S. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae among trainees suggests that both pathogens may have contributed either independently or as cofactors to the observed increased incidence of pneumonia in the outbreak battalion and should be considered as possible etiologies in outbreaks of pneumonia in the military population.
Pneumonia; pneumococcal; Chlamydophila; pneumoniae; Military Personnel
Background and purpose
Little attention has been paid to undisplaced femoral neck fractures. By using data from the Norwegian Hip Fracture Register, we investigated the risk of reoperation and the clinical outcome after treatment of these fractures in patients over 60 years of age.
Data on 4,468 patients with undisplaced femoral neck fractures who were operated with screw osteosynthesis were compared to those from 10,289 patients with displaced femoral neck fractures treated with screw osteosynthesis (n = 3,389) or bipolar hemiarthroplasty (n = 6,900). The evaluation was based on number of reoperations and patient assessment at 4 and 12 months of follow-up.
The 1-year implant survival was 89% after screw fixation for undisplaced fractures, 79% after screw fixation for displaced fractures, and 97% after hemiarthroplasty for displaced fractures. Patients with displaced fractures who were operated with internal fixation had a higher risk of reoperation (RR = 1.9, CI: 1.7–2.2), reported more pain, were less satisfied, and had lower quality of life than patients with undisplaced fractures treated with internal fixation (p < 0.05). Patients with displaced fractures who were operated with hemiarthroplasty had a lower risk of reoperation than patients with undisplaced fractures who were operated with internal fixation (RR = 0.32, CI: 0.27–0.38). Furthermore, they had the lowest degree of pain, were most satisfied, and reported the highest quality of life.
Interpretation The differences in clinical outcome found were less than what is considered to be of clinical importance. The results support the use of screw osteosynthesis for undisplaced femoral neck fractures in elderly patients, although even better results were obtained in the hemiarthroplasty group in patients with displaced fractures.