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3.  Inhibition of Streptococcus pneumoniae adherence to human epithelial cells in vitro by the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:135.
Background
Colonization of the nasopharynx by Streptococcus pneumoniae is considered a prerequisite for pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia and otitis media. Probiotic bacteria can influence disease outcomes through various mechanisms, including inhibition of pathogen colonization. Here, we examine the effect of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) on S. pneumoniae colonization of human epithelial cells using an in vitro model. We investigated the effects of LGG administered before, at the same time as, or after the addition of S. pneumoniae on the adherence of four pneumococcal isolates.
Results
LGG significantly inhibited the adherence of all the pneumococcal isolates tested. The magnitude of inhibition varied with LGG dose, time of administration, and the pneumococcal isolate used. Inhibition was most effective when a higher dose of LGG was administered prior to establishment of pneumococcal colonization. Mechanistic studies showed that LGG binds to epithelial cells but does not affect pneumococcal growth or viability. Administration of LGG did not lead to any significant changes in host cytokine responses.
Conclusions
These findings demonstrate that LGG can inhibit pneumococcal colonization of human epithelial cells in vitro and suggest that probiotics could be used clinically to prevent the establishment of pneumococcal carriage.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-135
PMCID: PMC3641997  PMID: 23561014
Probiotic; LGG; Pneumococci; Colonization; in vitro model
4.  Effect of Pneumococcal Vaccination on Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Staphylococcus aureus in Fijian Children 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(3):1034-1038.
The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) reduces carriage of vaccine type Streptococcus pneumoniae but leads to replacement by nonvaccine serotypes and may affect carriage of other respiratory pathogens. We investigated nasopharyngeal carriage of S. pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Staphylococcus aureus in Fijian infants participating in a pneumococcal vaccine trial using quantitative PCR. Vaccination did not affect pathogen carriage rates or densities, whereas significant differences between the two major ethnic groups were observed.
doi:10.1128/JCM.06589-11
PMCID: PMC3295152  PMID: 22170924
5.  Multilocus Sequence Typing of Streptococcus pneumoniae by Use of Mass Spectrometry ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(11):3756-3760.
Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is an important tool for the global surveillance of bacterial pathogens that is performed by comparing the sequences of designated housekeeping genes. We developed and tested a novel mass spectrometry-based method for MLST of Streptococcus pneumoniae. PCR amplicons were subjected to in vitro transcription and base-specific cleavage, followed by analysis of the resultant fragments by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Comparison of the cleavage fragment peak patterns to a reference sequence set permitted automated identification of alleles. Validation experiments using 29 isolates of S. pneumoniae revealed that the results of MALDI-TOF MS MLST matched those obtained by traditional sequence-based MLST for 99% of alleles and that the MALDI-TOF MS method accurately identified two single-nucleotide variations. The MADLI-TOF MS method was then used for MLST analysis of 43 S. pneumoniae isolates from Papua New Guinean children. The majority of the isolates present in this population were not clonal and contained seven new alleles and 30 previously unreported sequence types.
doi:10.1128/JCM.05113-11
PMCID: PMC3209096  PMID: 21880964
6.  Molecular Epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae Serogroup 6 Isolates from Fijian Children, Including Newly Identified Serotypes 6C and 6D▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(11):4298-4300.
Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was applied to all unique serotype 6C and 6D isolates and a random selection of serotype 6B and 6A isolates from nasopharyngeal swabs from Fijian children enrolled in a recent vaccine trial. The results suggest that Fijian serotype 6D has arisen independently from both serotypes 6A/C and 6B.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00861-10
PMCID: PMC3020807  PMID: 20810769
7.  Comparison of Citrated Human Blood, Citrated Sheep Blood, and Defibrinated Sheep Blood Mueller-Hinton Agar Preparations for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(10):3770-3772.
The use of Mueller-Hinton agar supplemented with citrated human or citrated sheep blood was compared with the use of routinely used Mueller-Hinton agar supplemented with defibrinated sheep blood for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The alternate supplements were found to be unsatisfactory, particularly for testing resistant isolates, and therefore are not recommended.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02357-09
PMCID: PMC2953122  PMID: 20668133
8.  High Burden of Impetigo and Scabies in a Tropical Country 
Background
Impetigo and scabies are endemic diseases in many tropical countries; however the epidemiology of these diseases is poorly understood in many areas, particularly in the Pacific.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We conducted three epidemiological studies in 2006 and 2007 to determine the burden of disease due to impetigo and scabies in children in Fiji using simple and easily reproducible methodology. Two studies were performed in primary school children (one study was a cross-sectional study and the other a prospective cohort study over ten months) and one study was performed in infants (cross-sectional). The prevalence of active impetigo was 25.6% (95% CI 24.1–27.1) in primary school children and 12.2% (95% CI 9.3–15.6) in infants. The prevalence of scabies was 18.5% (95% CI 17.2–19.8) in primary school children and 14.0% (95% CI 10.8–17.2) in infants. The incidence density of active impetigo, group A streptococcal (GAS) impetigo, Staphylococcus aureus impetigo and scabies was 122, 80, 64 and 51 cases per 100 child-years respectively. Impetigo was strongly associated with scabies infestation (odds ratio, OR, 2.4, 95% CI 1.6–3.7) and was more common in Indigenous Fijian children when compared with children of other ethnicities (OR 3.6, 95% CI 2.7–4.7). The majority of cases of active impetigo in the children in our study were caused by GAS. S. aureus was also a common cause (57.4% in school aged children and 69% in infants).
Conclusions/Significance
These data suggest that the impetigo and scabies disease burden in children in Fiji has been underestimated, and possibly other tropical developing countries in the Pacific. These diseases are more than benign nuisance diseases and consideration needs to be given to expanded public health initiatives to improve their control.
Author Summary
Scabies and impetigo are often thought of as nuisance diseases, but have the potential to cause a great deal of morbidity and even mortality if infection becomes complicated. Accurate assessments of these diseases are lacking, particularly in tropical developing countries. We performed a series of studies in infants and primary school children in Fiji, a tropical developing country in the South Pacific. Impetigo was very common: more than a quarter of school-aged children and 12% of infants had active impetigo. Scabies was also very common affecting 18% of school children and 14% of infants. The group A streptococcus was the most common infective organism followed by Staphylococcus aureus. The size of the problem has been underestimated, particularly in the Pacific. It is time for more concerted public health efforts in controlling impetigo and scabies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000467
PMCID: PMC2694270  PMID: 19547749

Results 1-8 (8)