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1.  Comparison of ChromID Agar and Clostridium difficile Selective Agar for Effective Isolation of C. difficile from Stool Specimens 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2013;34(1):15-19.
ChromID Clostridium difficile agar (IDCd; bioMérieux SA, France) is a recently developed chromogenic medium for rapid and specific isolation of C. difficile. We compared the performance of IDCd with that of Clostridium difficile Selective Agar (CDSA).
A total of 530 fresh stool specimens were collected from patients with clinical signs compatible with C. difficile infection, and cultures for C. difficile were performed on IDCd and CDSA. C. difficile colonies were identified by spore staining, odor, use of an ANI identification test kit (bioMérieux SA), and multiplex PCR for tcdA, tcdB, and tpi.
The concordance rate between IDCd and CDSA was 90.6% (480/530). The positivity rates on IDCd on days 1 and 2 (55.6% and 85.0%, respectively) were significantly higher than those on CDSA (19.4% and 75.6%, respectively) (P<0.001 for day 1 and P=0.02 for day 2), but the detection rates on IDCd and CDSA on day 3 were not different (89.4% vs. 82.8%, P=0.0914). On day 3, the recovery rates for non-C. difficile isolates on IDCd and CDSA were 30.2% (160/530) and 22.1% (117/530), respectively (P=0.0075). Clostridium spp. other than C. difficile were the most prevalent non-C. difficile isolates on both media.
The culture positivity rates on IDCd and CDSA were not different on day 3 but IDCd may allow for rapid and sensitive detection of C. difficile within 2 days of cultivation.
PMCID: PMC3885767  PMID: 24422190
Clostridium difficile; Culture; Chromogenic agar; Clostridium difficile selective agar
2.  Comparison of BD GeneOhm Cdiff and Seegene Seeplex ACE PCR Assays Using Toxigenic Clostridium difficile Culture for Direct Detection of tcdB from Stool Specimens 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(11):3765-3767.
We evaluated the performances of 2 PCR assays (BD GeneOhm and Seegene ACE) for direct detection of tcdB from stool specimens. The concordance rate between BD and Seegene was 96.3%. The sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values (PPVs), and negative predictive values (NPVs) of BD and Seegene were 95.7%, 96.5%, 91.8%, and 98.2% and 90.0%, 97.1%, 92.6%, and 96.0%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3486254  PMID: 22952270
3.  Evaluation of Four Commercial IgG- and IgM-specific Enzyme Immunoassays for Detecting Mycoplasma pneumoniae Antibody: Comparison with Particle Agglutination Assay 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(5):795-801.
Diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection is important due to its variable clinical manifestations and absence of response to beta-lactams. Introduction of enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for serologic diagnosis of M. pneumoniae has made it possible to separate the analyses of specific IgG and IgM antibodies. We compared four different commercial EIAs, ImmunoWELL IgG, IgM (GenBio), Medac IgG, IgA, IgM (Medac), Platelia IgG, IgM (Sanofi Pasteur), and Ridascreen IgG, IgA, IgM (r-Biopharm) with indirect particle agglutination assay (PA), Serodia-MycoII (Fujirebio). We tested 91 specimens from 73 pediatric patients (2-17 yr) hospitalized at a tertiary-care hospital between December 2005 and January 2006. The measurements of IgM EIAs were correlated with PA titers (Spearman's correlation coefficient, from 0.89 to 0.92) with high concordance rates, ranging from 82.4% to 92.3%. However, some negative IgM-EIA results in PA-positive specimens indicated that serial samplings with convalescent sera would be necessary to confirm M. pneumoniae infection.
PMCID: PMC2693843  PMID: 17982225
Mycoplasma Pneumoniae; Particle Agglutination; Immunoenzyme Techniques
4.  Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B Virus among Health Care Workers in Korea 
We studied the seroprevalence of HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc and the vaccination histories among health care workers (HCWs) at a large suburban referral hospital in Korea. The purpose of this study was to determine the immune status of HCWs against hepatitis B virus and we also wanted to prepare a practical guideline to protect HCWs from occupational exposure. During December, 2003, 571 HCWs (56 physicians, 289 nurses, 113 technicians and 113 aid-nurses) aged between 21 and 74 yr were included in the surveillance. The positive rates of HBsAg and anti-HBs were 2.4% (14/571) and 76.9% (439/571), respectively. The positive rate of anti-HBs was lower in the physician group, and this was associated with the male gender and older age. Of the 439 anti-HBs positive cases, 320 cases (73.1%) were anti-HBc negative and this was significantly associated with a past history of HBV vaccination. The distribution of the anti-HBs levels was not associated with age (except for HCWs in their sixties), gender or occupation. Our study revealed that the seroprevalence rates of HBsAg and anti-HBs in HCWs in Korea were not different from those of the general population. Based on this surveillance, we can make reasonable decisions in case of occupational exposure to hepatitis B virus.
PMCID: PMC2733980  PMID: 16479066
Hepatitis B surface Antigens; Anti-HBs; Anti-HBc; Occupational Exposure; Health Personnel; Korea
5.  Nasal Carriage of 200 Patients with Nasal Bone Fracture in Korea 
Archives of Plastic Surgery  2013;40(5):536-541.
Pathogens in the nasal cavity during nasal surgery could lead to a systemic infectious condition, such as bacteremia, nosocomial infection, or toxic shock syndrome. However, there is no research about the prevalence of nasal carriage in patients with nasal bone fracture.
This was a prospective, double-blind, randomized study about the rate of nasal carriage in 200 patients with nasal bone fracture in Korea. Nasal secretions were taken from both the middle nasal meatus and colonized. All analyses were carried out using SPSS software.
Pathogens were identified in 178 of the 200 cases. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) were the most cultured bacteria in 127 (66.84%) of the 190 total patients after excluding 10 cases of contaminated samples, and methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCNS) were found in 48 (25.26%). Staphylococcus aureus was the second most identified pathogen, found in 36 (18.95%), followed by 7 cases (3.68%) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The prevalence rate of MRSA in the females was higher than that in the males (RR=4.70; 95% CI, 1.09-20.18), but other demographic factors had no effect on the prevalence rate of MRSA and MRCNS.
The prevalence rate of these pathogens in patients with nasal bone fracture in Korea was similar to other reports. However, few studies have addressed the prevalence rate of CNS and MRCNS in accordance with risk factors or the change in prevalence according to specific prophylaxis against infectious complications. Additional research is needed on the potential connections between clinical factors and microbiological data.
PMCID: PMC3785586  PMID: 24086806
Nasal bone; Staphylococcus aureus; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
6.  Characterization of Cases of Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) Presenting at an Emergency Room: Molecular and Clinical Features Differentiate Community-Onset Hospital-Associated and Community-Associated CDI in a Tertiary Care Hospital▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(6):2161-2165.
Definition of community-onset, hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection (CO-HA-CDI) is difficult in patients presenting with diarrhea at hospitals or outpatient clinics, especially 4 to 12 weeks after the last discharge. We performed C. difficile stool culture for 272 diarrheic patients visiting the emergency room (ER) between January 2006 and June 2010. C. difficile was isolated from 36 cases (13.2%), and isolation rates increased year by year, from 10.1% in 2008 to 12.4% in 2009 and 16.7% in 2010. Among 32 toxin-positive isolates, 13 (40.6%) and 19 (59.4%) were associated with CO-HA-CDI and community-acquired CDI (CA-CDI), respectively, if cases with CDI diagnosed within 12 weeks after discharge were considered hospital associated. The majority (70%) of CO-HA-CDI cases occurred within 2 weeks after hospital discharge, although the interval from discharge to onset of symptoms was as long as 10 weeks. We found via tcdA and tcdB and repetitive sequence PCR analysis, that toxin A-positive/toxin B-positive isolates were the most prevalent in both CO-HA-CDI (53.8%) and CA-CDI (94.7%) cases. Toxin A-negative/toxin B-positive isolates were also still highly associated with HA-CDI cases but were also observed in CA-CDI cases. Younger age, fewer underlying diseases, lack of prior antibiotic use, and genetic diversity of isolates in repetitive sequence PCR were the main characteristics in CA-CDI cases visiting the ER.
PMCID: PMC3122747  PMID: 21471341
7.  Comparison of an Automated Repetitive Sequence-based PCR Microbial Typing System with IS6110-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism for Epidemiologic Investigation of Clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates in Korea 
Tuberculosis remains a severe public health problem worldwide. Presently, genotyping is used for conducting epidemiologic and clinical studies on tuberculosis cases. We evaluated the efficacy of the repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR)-based DiversiLab™ system (bioMérieux, France) over the IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In all, 89 clinical M. tuberculosis isolates collected nationwide from Korea were used. The DiversiLab system allocated the 89 isolates to 8 groups with 1 unique isolate when a similarity level of 95% was applied. Seventy-six isolates of the Beijing family and 13 isolates of non-Beijing family strains were irregularly distributed regardless of rep-PCR groups. The DiversiLab system generated a rapid, sensitive, and standardized result. It can be used to conduct molecular epidemiologic studies to identify clinical M. tuberculosis isolates in Korea.
PMCID: PMC3190008  PMID: 22016683
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction; DiversiLab Microbial Typing System
9.  Clinical and Epidemiological Comparison of Human Metapneumovirus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Seoul, Korea, 2003-2008 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(3):342-347.
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) shares clinical and epidemiological characteristics with well-known respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical and epidemiological differences between HMPV- and RSV-induced wheezing illnesses. A total of 1,008 nasopharyngeal aspirate specimens was collected from 1,008 pediatric patients hospitalized with acute respiratory tract infection at Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital from December 2003 to April 2008, and tested for seven common respiratory viruses. Conditions classified as wheezing illness were bronchiolitis, reactive airways disease, and bronchial asthma. HMPV caused a significantly lower proportion of wheezing illness when compared to RSV (48.1% vs. 82.2%, P<0.05). HMPV-induced wheezing illness occurred predominantly in older patients when compared to RSV patients (P<0.001). RSV infections peaked in the fall and winter followed by peaks of HMPV infection in winter and spring. Eosinophil counts were significantly higher (P<0.01) in RSV patients when compared to HMPV patients. These results show that human metapneumovirus patients exhibit several different clinical and epidemiological characteristics, such as higher proportion of wheezing illness, age and seasonal incidence, and eosinophil counts, when compared to RSV patients.
PMCID: PMC2826723  PMID: 20191030
Metapneumovirus; Respiratory Syncytial Viruses; Respiratory Sounds; Child; Seasonal Distribution
10.  Algorithm Combining Toxin Immunoassay and Stool Culture for Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile Infection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(9):2952-2956.
Enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect glutamate dehydrogenase or toxins A (TcdA) and B (TcdB), a cytotoxicity assay, and bacteriologic culture have disadvantages when applied individually to diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infections. Stool specimens (n = 1,596) were subjected to toxin detection via an enzyme-linked fluorescent immunoassay (ELFA; Vidas CDAB assay) and bacteriologic culture for toxigenic C. difficile in a three-step algorithm with additional toxigenic culture. Isolates (n = 163) from ELFA-negative stool specimens were examined via ELFA for toxin production. We amplified tcdA and tcdB from C. difficile isolates and tcdB from stool specimens that were ELFA positive or equivocal and culture negative, and we compared the results to those obtained with the three-step algorithm. More than 26% of stool specimens (419/1,596) were culture positive, yielding 248 isolates (59.2%) with both toxin genes (tcdA- and tcdB-positive isolates), 88 isolates (21.0%) with either tcdA or tcdB, and 83 (19.8%) that had no toxin genes (tcdA- and tcdB-negative isolates). Among 49 (culture-negative/ELFA-positive or -equivocal) stool specimens, 53.1% (26/49) represented tcdB-positive isolates. Therefore, the total number of PCR-positive cases was 362, and 27.1% (98/362) of these were detected through toxigenic culture. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were 63.3%, 96.7%, 90.5%, and 92.4% (ELFA alone); 92.8%, 93.3%, 80.2%, and 97.8% (culture); and 70.7%, 91.4%, 95.5%, and 100% (three-step algorithm ELFA and bacterial culture with toxigenic culture), respectively, with culture and PCR for tcdA and tcdB as the standards. Thus, sensitivity and specificity were highest using culture and ELFA, respectively, but we recommend the three-step algorithm comprising EIA to detect both toxins and toxigenic culture for C. difficile as a practical method for achieving better PPV and NPV.
PMCID: PMC2738110  PMID: 19625481
11.  Species Distribution and Susceptibility to Azole Antifungals of Candida Bloodstream Isolates from Eight University Hospitals in Korea 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2007;48(5):779-786.
The incidence of Candida bloodstream infections (BSI) has increased over the past two decades. The rank order of occurrence and the susceptibility to antifungals of the various Candida species causing BSI are important factors driving the establishment of empirical treatment protocols; however, very limited multi-institutional data are available on Candida bloodstream isolates in Korea.
Materials and Methods
We investigated the susceptibility to azole antifungals and species distribution of 143 Candida bloodstream isolates recovered from eight university hospitals over a six-month period. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole for each isolate were determined by the broth microdilution method of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI).
The Candida species recovered most frequently from the blood cultures was C. albicans (49%), followed by C. parapsilosis (22%), C. tropicalis (14%), and C. glabrata (11%). The MIC ranges for the Candida isolates were 0.125 to 64 µg/mL for fluconazole, 0.03 to 2 µg/mL for itraconazole, and 0.03 to 1 µg/mL for voriconazole. Overall, resistance to fluconazole was found in only 2% of the Candida isolates (3/143), while the dose-dependent susceptibility was found in 6% (8/143). The resistance and dose-dependent susceptibility of itraconazole were found in 4% (6/143) and 14% (20/143) of the isolates, respectively. All bloodstream isolates were susceptible to voriconazole (MIC, ≤ 1 µg/mL).
Our findings show that C. albicans is the most common cause of Candida-related BSI, followed by C. parapsilosis, and that the rates of resistance to azole antifungals are still low among bloodstream isolates in Korea.
PMCID: PMC2628143  PMID: 17963334
Candida species; antifungal susceptibility; bloodstream infections; triazoles

Results 1-11 (11)