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1.  A High Incidence of Intussusception Revealed by a Retrospective Hospital-Based Study in Nha Trang, Vietnam between 2009 and 2011 
Tropical Medicine and Health  2013;41(3):121-127.
Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea among children worldwide. Thus, the World Health Organization recommended including rotavirus vaccines in national immunization programs. One concern about rotavirus vaccine, however, is a possible association with intussusception. Thus, it is crucial to know the baseline incidence of intussusception in the first year of life. A study conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam showed that the incidence of intussusception was the highest in the world. This retrospective cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the incidence of intussusception among children <5 years of age in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Hospital charts between 2009 and 2011 were reviewed in Khanh Hoa Provincial General Hospital where virtually all cases of intussusception occurring in the city were assumed to have been encountered. The incidence of intussusception among children <1 year of age was 296 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 225–382), and that among children <5 years of age was 196 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI: 169–226), confirming the high incidence of intussusception in Vietnam. Nevertheless, there was no intussusception in the first three months of life. We therefore recommend that the first dose of any rotavirus vaccine be administered to infants between 6 and 12 weeks of age.
PMCID: PMC3801156  PMID: 24155653
intussusception; incidence; rotavirus vaccine; Vietnam
3.  An expanded age range for meningococcal meningitis: molecular diagnostic evidence from population-based surveillance in Asia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:310.
To understand epidemiologic patterns of meningococcal disease in Asia, we performed a retrospective molecular analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens collected in prospective surveillance among children aged < 5 years of age in China, South Korea, and Vietnam.
A total of 295 isolates and 2,302 CSFs were tested by a meningococcal species- and serogroup-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) ctrA gene. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was performed in Nm gene amplification analysis and incidence rates for meningococcal meningitis were estimated.
Among 295 isolates tested, 10 specimens from Vietnam were confirmed as serogroup B and all were Sequence Type (ST) 1576 by MLST. Among the 2,032 CSF specimen tested, 284 (14%) were confirmed by PCR (ctrA gene), including 67 (23.6%) from China, 92 (32.4%) from Korea, and 125 (44.0%) from Vietnam. Neonates and infants aged < 6 months of age accounted for more than 50% of Nm-PCR positive CSF. Two CSF specimens from Vietnam were identified as serogroup B using MLST. In addition, 44 specimens underwent sequencing to confirm meningococcal serogroup; of these, 21 (48%) were serogroup C, 12 (27%) were serogroup X, 9 (20%) were serogroup Y and 2 (5%) were serogroup B. The incidence rates of meningococcal meningitis among children < 5 years of age was highest in Vietnam (7.4/100,000 [95% CI, 3.6—15.3] followed by Korea (6.8/100,000 [95% CI, 3.5-13.5] and China (2.1/100,000) [95% CI, 0.7-6.2]).
These results suggest that there is a previously undetected, yet substantial burden of meningococcal meningitis among infants and young children. Standardized, sensitive and specific molecular diagnostic assays with Nm serogrouping capacity are needed throughout Asia to understand the true burden of N. meningitidis disease.
PMCID: PMC3519641  PMID: 23164061
Cerebrospinal fluid; Meningococcal meningitis; Neisseria meningitidis; Serogroup; Surveillance
4.  Outpatient treatment of children with severe pneumonia with oral amoxicillin in 4 countries: The MASS study 
A recent RCT demonstrated home-based treatment of WHO-defined severe pneumonia with oral amoxicillin was equivalent to hospital-based therapy and parenteral antibiotics. We aimed to determine whether this finding is generalizable across four countries.
Multi-centre observational study in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana and Vietnam between November 2005 and May 2008. Children aged 3 to 59 months with WHO-defined severe pneumonia were enrolled at participating health centers and managed at home with oral amoxicillin (80–90 mg/kg/day) for 5 days. Children were followed-up at home on days 1, 2, 3 and 6 and at a facility on day 14 to look for cumulative treatment failure through day 6 and relapse between days 6–14.
Of 6,582 children screened, 873 were included, of whom 823 had an outcome ascertained. There was substantial variation in presenting characteristics by site. Bangladesh and Ghana had fever (97%) as a more common symptom than Egypt (74%) and Vietnam (66%), while in Vietnam audible wheeze was more common (49%) than at other sites (range 2%–16%). Treatment failure by day 6 was 9.2% (95% CI: 7.3%–11.2%) across all sites, varying from 6.4% (95% CI: 3.1%–9.8%) in Ghana to 13.2% (95% CI: 8.4%–18.0%) in Vietnam. 2.7% (95% CI: 1.5%–3.9%) of the 733 children well on day 6 relapsed by day 14. The most common causes of treatment failure were persistence of LCI at day 6 (3.8%; 95% CI: 2.6%–5.2%), abnormal sleepy or difficult to wake (1.3%; 95% CI: 0.7%–2.3%), and central cyanosis (1.3%; 95% CI: 0.7%–2.3%). All children survived and only one adverse drug reaction occurred. Treatment was more frequent in young infants and those presenting with rapid respiratory rates.
Clinical treatment failure and adverse event rates among children with severe pneumonia treated at home with oral amoxicillin did not substantially differ across geographic areas. Thus home-based therapy of severe pneumonia can be applied to a wide variety of settings.
PMCID: PMC3154370  PMID: 21545381
pneumonia; developing countries; integrated management of childhood illness; amoxicillin; effectiveness
5.  Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Detection of Haemophilus influenzae Type b in Cerebrospinal Fluid▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(10):3621-3626.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is one of the leading causes of meningitis in developing countries. To establish and evaluate a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for Hib, we designed a LAMP primer set targeting the Hib-specific capsulation locus. LAMP detected 10 copies of purified DNA in a 60-min reaction. This indicated that the detection limit of LAMP was >100-fold lower than the detection limits of both a PCR for the detection of bexA and a nested PCR for Hib (Hib PCR). No H. influenzae, other than Hib or control bacteria, was detected. Linear determination ranged from 10 to 1,000,000 microorganisms per reaction mixture using real-time turbidimetry. We evaluated the Hib LAMP assay using a set of 52 randomly selected cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens obtained from children with suspected meningitis. For comparison, the CSF specimens were tested using a conventional Hib PCR assay. Hib was detected in 30 samples using LAMP and in 22 samples using the Hib PCR assay. The Hib PCR showed a clinical sensitivity of 73.3% and a clinical specificity of 100% relative to the Hib LAMP assay. These results suggest that further development and evaluation of the Hib LAMP will enhance the global diagnostic capability for Hib detection.
PMCID: PMC3187296  PMID: 21832019
6.  The Vi Conjugate Typhoid Vaccine Is Safe, Elicits Protective Levels of IgG Anti-Vi, and Is Compatible with Routine Infant Vaccines ▿ † 
Typhoid fever remains a serious problem in developing countries. Current vaccines are licensed for individuals who are 5 years old or older. A conjugate of the capsular polysaccharide (CP) of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (Vi) bound to recombinant exoprotein A of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Vi-rEPA) enhanced Vi immunogenicity and protected 2- to 5-year-olds in Vietnam. In this study, Vi-rEPA was evaluated for use in infants. A total of 301 full-term Vietnamese infants received Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) vaccines alone or with Vi-rEPA or Haemophilus influenzae type b-tetanus toxoid conjugate (Hib-TT) at 2, 4, and 6 months and Vi-rEPA or Hib-TT alone at 12 months. Infants were visited 6, 24, and 48 h after each injection to monitor adverse reactions. Maternal, cord, and infant sera were assayed for IgG anti-Vi and for IgG antibodies to Hib CP and the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis toxins at 7, 12, and 13 months. No vaccine-related serious adverse reactions occurred. In the Vi-rEPA group, the IgG anti-Vi geometric mean (GM) increased from the cord level of 0.66 to 17.4 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay units (EU) at 7 months, declined to 4.76 EU at 12 months, and increased to 50.1 EU 1 month after the 4th dose (95% of infants had levels of ≥3.5 EU, the estimated protective level). Controls had no increase of the IgG anti-Vi GM. Infants with cord anti-Vi levels of <3.5 EU responded with significantly higher IgG anti-Vi levels than those with levels of ≥3.5 EU. Anti-diphtheria, -tetanus, and -pertussis toxin levels were similar in all groups. Vi-rEPA was safe, induced protective anti-Vi levels, and was compatible with EPI vaccines, and it can be used in infants. High cord IgG anti-Vi levels partially suppressed infant responses to Vi-rEPA.
PMCID: PMC3122535  PMID: 21411598
7.  Population Density, Water Supply, and the Risk of Dengue Fever in Vietnam: Cohort Study and Spatial Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(8):e1001082.
Results from 75,000 geo-referenced households in Vietnam during two dengue epidemics reveal that human population densities typical of villages are most prone to dengue outbreaks; rural areas may contribute as much to dissemination of dengue fever as do cities.
Aedes aegypti, the major vector of dengue viruses, often breeds in water storage containers used by households without tap water supply, and occurs in high numbers even in dense urban areas. We analysed the interaction between human population density and lack of tap water as a cause of dengue fever outbreaks with the aim of identifying geographic areas at highest risk.
Methods and Findings
We conducted an individual-level cohort study in a population of 75,000 geo-referenced households in Vietnam over the course of two epidemics, on the basis of dengue hospital admissions (n = 3,013). We applied space-time scan statistics and mathematical models to confirm the findings. We identified a surprisingly narrow range of critical human population densities between around 3,000 to 7,000 people/km2 prone to dengue outbreaks. In the study area, this population density was typical of villages and some peri-urban areas. Scan statistics showed that areas with a high population density or adequate water supply did not experience severe outbreaks. The risk of dengue was higher in rural than in urban areas, largely explained by lack of piped water supply, and in human population densities more often falling within the critical range. Mathematical modeling suggests that simple assumptions regarding area-level vector/host ratios may explain the occurrence of outbreaks.
Rural areas may contribute at least as much to the dissemination of dengue fever as cities. Improving water supply and vector control in areas with a human population density critical for dengue transmission could increase the efficiency of control efforts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Dengue fever is a viral infection common in tropical and subtropical regions that is characterized by sudden high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pains, and a rash. The virus is transmitted by the bite of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Although dengue is not usually fatal, infection rates can be as high as 90% among those who have not been previously exposed to the virus, and in a small proportion of cases the disease can develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is life threatening. It is estimated that 500,000 people are hospitalized every year with dengue hemorrhagic fever. Incidence of dengue fever is increasing, and two-fifths of the world's population, approximately 2.5 billion people, are now at risk from the disease in over 100 endemic countries.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, other than managing symptoms and ensuring hydration, and no vaccine available. The best way to counter the spread of dengue fever is to target the mosquito vector, with one of the more effective methods being the disruption of mosquito habitats, in particular eliminating standing water such as in unused tires, open water storage containers, or even flower vases, where mosquitoes lay their eggs and larvae develop. Because the geographic range of the mosquitoes that transmit dengue has increased, there has been a rapid rise in global dengue epidemics over the last 30 years with Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific being most severely affected. In this study researchers aimed to define areas in Vietnam that were most at risk of dengue fever by looking at population density and water supply.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers studied a population in Kanh-Hoa Province in south-central Vietnam (∼350,000 people) that was affected by two dengue epidemics between January 2005 and June 2008. They included all patients admitted to two public hospitals that could be linked to census data from 2006 (3,013 patients). These data enabled the researchers to calculate both the population density and the proportion of households with access to tap water within 100 meters of each patient's household.
The researchers found that low population densities, typical of rural villages (around 110 people residing within a 100-meter radius), had the highest rate of dengue fever. They also found that in those neighborhoods where less than 20% of households had tap water there was a peak in dengue fever rates at a population density of 190 people residing within 100 meters. On an individual household level they found that absence of tap water was associated with an increased risk of dengue fever.
In the absence of data on larvae and mosquito abundance the researchers used a mathematical model to show that when mosquito numbers were limited the highest risk of dengue occurred at very low population densities. However, if mosquito numbers were limited only at high human population densities, dengue fever risk peaked at low-to-moderate human population densities. The model suggests that the provision of tap water changes the risk of dengue because mosquito numbers are limited.
What Do These Findings Mean?
People living in low-to-moderate population densities, such as rural villages, without access to tap water have the highest risk of contracting dengue fever. The use of water storage vessels provides breeding sites for mosquitoes and leads to a high mosquito-to-human ratio and an increased individual dengue risk. In more populated urban areas with tap water, mosquito breeding sites are limited so the relative risk of dengue for an individual is less because the mosquito-to-human ratio is smaller. Populated areas still contribute substantially to dengue epidemics, however, because the absolute number of people who can contract dengue is high.
The authors point out some limitations in their study, such as only looking at the most severe cases of dengue in patients who were admitted to hospital and assuming that all taps were functional.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
WHO provides information on dengue fever including a dengue fact sheet
The CDC provides information on the Aedes aegypti mosquito and a global health map that reports areas at risk of dengue
PMCID: PMC3168879  PMID: 21918642
8.  Can Daytime Use of Bed Nets Not Treated with Insecticide Reduce the Risk of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Among Children in Vietnam? 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of bed net use and elucidate the effect of daytime bed net use on preventing dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) among children in Vietnam. We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey and a matched case–control study in Khanh Hoa Province where not only some pre-schoolchildren but also some school children, who take a nap during lunch break prior to returning to school, used bed nets during the day. Among 36,901 children 2–10 years of age, most used untreated bed nets during the night (98.3%) compared with 8.4% during the day. The results of the case–control study, which defined 151 cases who were hospitalized with DHF in the provincial hospitals and 604 age-matched neighborhood controls, did not support our hypothesis that children using untreated bed nets during the day are less likely to be hospitalized with DHF (adjusted odds ratio = 0.56, 95% confidence interval = 0.23–1.39).
PMCID: PMC2877428  PMID: 20519617
9.  Use of Oral Cholera Vaccines in an Outbreak in Vietnam: A Case Control Study 
Killed oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) are available but not used routinely for cholera control except in Vietnam, which produces its own vaccine. In 2007–2008, unprecedented cholera outbreaks occurred in the capital, Hanoi, prompting immunization in two districts. In an outbreak investigation, we assessed the effectiveness of killed OCV use after a cholera outbreak began.
Methodology/Principal Findings
From 16 to 28 January 2008, vaccination campaigns with the Vietnamese killed OCV were held in two districts of Hanoi. No cholera cases were detected from 5 February to 4 March 2008, after which cases were again identified. Beginning 8 April 2008, residents of four districts of Hanoi admitted to one of five hospitals for acute diarrhea with onset after 5 March 2008 were recruited for a matched, hospital-based, case-control outbreak investigation. Cases were matched by hospital, admission date, district, gender, and age to controls admitted for non-diarrheal conditions. Subjects from the two vaccinated districts were evaluated to determine vaccine effectiveness. 54 case-control pairs from the vaccinated districts were included in the analysis. There were 8 (15%) and 16 (30%) vaccine recipients among cases and controls, respectively. The vaccine was 76% protective against cholera in this setting (95% CI 5% to 94%, P = 0.042) after adjusting for intake of dog meat or raw vegetables and not drinking boiled or bottled water most of the time.
This is the first study to explore the effectiveness of the reactive use of killed OCVs during a cholera outbreak. Our findings suggest that killed OCVs may have a role in controlling cholera outbreaks.
Author Summary
Simple measures such as adequate sanitation and clean water stops the spread of cholera; however, in areas where these are not available, cholera spreads quickly and may lead to death in a few hours if treatment is not initiated immediately. The use of life-saving rehydration therapy is the mainstay in cholera control, however, the rapidity of the disease and the limited access to appropriate healthcare units in far-flung areas together result in an unacceptable number of deaths. The WHO has recommended the use of oral cholera vaccines as a preventive measure against cholera outbreaks since 2001, but this was recently updated so that vaccine use may also be considered once a cholera outbreak has begun. The findings from this study suggest that reactive use of killed oral cholera vaccines provides protection against the disease and may be a potential tool in times of outbreaks. Further studies must be conducted to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3026769  PMID: 21283616
10.  Treatment Costs of Pneumonia, Meningitis, Sepsis, and Other Diseases among Hospitalized Children in Viet Nam 
The aim of this study was to estimate the costs of treatment of children who present with the signs and symptoms of invasive bacterial diseases in Khanh Hoa province, Viet Nam. The study was an incidence-based cost-of-illness analysis from the health system perspective. The hospital costs included labour, materials and capital costs, both direct and indirect. Costs were determined for 980 children, with an average age of 12.67 months (standard deviation±11.38), who were enrolled in a prospective surveillance at the Khanh Hoa General Hospital during 2005-2006. Of them, 57% were male. By disease-category, 80% were suspected of having pneumonia, 8% meningitis, 3% very severe disease consistent with pneumococcal sepsis, and 9% other diseases. Treatment costs for suspected pneumonia, meningitis, very severe disease, and other diseases were US$ 31, US$ 57, US$ 73, and US$ 24 respectively. Costs ranged from US$ 24 to US$ 164 across different case-categories. Both type of disease and age of patient had statistically significant effects on treatment costs. The results showed that treatment costs for bacterial diseases in children were considerable and might differ by as much as seven times among invasive pneumococcal diseases. Changes in costs were sensitive to both age of patient and case-category. These cost-of-illness data will be an important component in the overall evidence base to guide the development of vaccine policy in Viet Nam.
PMCID: PMC2963765  PMID: 20941894
Cost-of-illness; Healthcare costs; Meningitis; Pneumococcal diseases; Pneumonia; Sepsis; Viet Nam
11.  Who is exposed to smoke at home? A population-based cross-sectional survey in central Vietnam 
Tobacco Control  2010;19(4):344-345.
PMCID: PMC2975984  PMID: 20581426
Environmental tobacco smoke; prevalence; public policy
12.  Cholera Outbreaks Caused by an Altered Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Biotype Strain Producing Classical Cholera Toxin B in Vietnam in 2007 to 2008 ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(5):1568-1571.
Vibrio cholerae O1 isolates collected during cholera outbreaks occurring from late 2007 to early 2008 in northern Vietnam were revealed to represent an altered strain containing the RS1 element followed by a CTX prophage harboring El Tor type rstR and classical ctxB on the large chromosome.
PMCID: PMC2681878  PMID: 19297603
13.  Survey of childhood empyema in Asia: Implications for detecting the unmeasured burden of culture-negative bacterial disease 
Parapneumonic empyema continues to be a disease of significant morbidity and mortality among children despite recent advances in medical management. To date, only a limited number of studies have assessed the burden of empyema in Asia.
We surveyed medical records of four representative large pediatric hospitals in China, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam using ICD-10 diagnostic codes to identify children <16 years of age hospitalized with empyema or pleural effusion from 1995 to 2005. We also accessed microbiology records of cultured empyema and pleural effusion specimens to describe the trends in the epidemiology and microbiology of empyema.
During the study period, we identified 1,379 children diagnosed with empyema or pleural effusion (China, n = 461; Korea, n = 134; Taiwan, n = 119; Vietnam, n = 665). Diagnoses of pleural effusion (n = 1,074) were 3.5 times more common than of empyema (n = 305), although the relative proportions of empyema and pleural effusion noted in hospital records varied widely between the four sites, most likely because of marked differences in coding practices. Although pleural effusions were reported more often than empyema, children with empyema were more likely to have a cultured pathogen. In addition, we found that median age and gender distribution of children with these conditions were similar across the four countries. Among 1,379 empyema and pleural effusion specimens, 401 (29%) were culture positive. Staphylococcus aureus (n = 126) was the most common organism isolated, followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 83), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 37) and Klebsiella (n = 35) and Acinetobacter species (n = 34).
The age and gender distribution of empyema and pleural effusion in children in these countries are similar to the US and Western Europe. S. pneumoniae was the second leading bacterial cause of empyema and pleural effusion among Asian children. The high proportion of culture-negative specimens among patients with pleural effusion or empyema suggests that culture may not be a sufficiently sensitive diagnostic method to determine etiology in the majority of cases. Future prospective studies in different countries would benefit from standardized case definitions and coding practices for empyema. In addition, more sensitive diagnostic methods would improve detection of pathogens and could result in better prevention, treatment and outcomes of this severe disease.
PMCID: PMC2474840  PMID: 18620553
14.  Temporal Trends and Climatic Factors Associated with Bacterial Enteric Diseases in Vietnam, 1991–2001 
In Vietnam, shigellosis/dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera are important enteric diseases. To better understand their epidemiology, we determined temporal trends, seasonal patterns, and climatic factors associated with high risk periods in eight regions across Vietnam.
We quantified monthly cases and incidence rates (IR) for each region from national surveillance data (1991–2001). High- and low-disease periods were defined from the highest and lowest IRs (1 SD above and below the mean) and from outbreaks from positive outliers (4 SDs higher in 1 month or 2 SDs higher in ≥ 2 consecutive months). We used general linear models to compare precipitation, temperature, and humidity between high- and low-risk periods.
Shigellosis/dysentery was widespread and increased 2.5 times during the study period, with the highest average IRs found between June and August (2.1/100,000–26.2/100,000). Typhoid fever was endemic in the Mekong River Delta and emerged in the Northwest in the mid-1990s, with peaks between April and August (0.38–8.6). Cholera was mostly epidemic along the central coast between May and November (0.07–2.7), and then decreased dramatically nationwide from 1997 onward. Significant climate differences were found only between high- and low-disease periods. We were able to define 4 shigellosis/dysentery, 14 typhoid fever, and 8 cholera outbreaks, with minimal geotemporal overlap and no significant climatic associations.
In Vietnam, bacterial enteric diseases have distinct temporal trends and seasonal patterns. Climate plays a role in defining high- and low-disease periods, but it does not appear to be an important factor influencing outbreaks.
PMCID: PMC2199291  PMID: 18197292
cholera; climate; dysentery; enteric disease; epidemiology; outbreaks; seasonality; shigellosis; typhoid fever; Vietnam
15.  Rotavirus G5P[6] in Child with Diarrhea, Vietnam 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(8):1232-1235.
We detected rotavirus G5P[6] with a long RNA pattern in a Vietnamese child with diarrhea. Viral outer capsid protein VP7 and VP4 genes suggest that it likely originated from porcine rotavirus either by genetic reassortment or as whole virions. To our knowledge, this is the first report of human rotavirus G5 in Asia.
PMCID: PMC2828068  PMID: 17953100
Human rotavirus; serotype G5; Vietnam; dispatch
16.  Comparative Molecular Analysis of Haemophilus influenzae Isolates from Young Children with Acute Lower Respiratory Tract Infections and Meningitis in Hanoi, Vietnam 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(5):2474-2476.
Thirty-seven Haemophilus influenzae strains from nasopharyngeal swabs (NP) and 44 H. influenzae strains from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were investigated. Of the 37 H. influenzae isolates from NP, the serotypes of 30 isolates were nontypeable, 4 were type b, 2 were type c, and 1 was type a, whereas all of the 44 isolates from CSF were type b. The MICs of 16 antibiotics for the H. influenzae isolates from NP and CSF were similar, and no β-lactamase-negative ampicillin-resistant strain was found. Molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) showed that the 37 H. influenzae strains from NP had 22 PFGE patterns, with none predominating, and the 44 H. influenzae strains from CSF had 9 PFGE patterns, with patterns α (22 isolates) and β (12 isolates) predominating. Our results indicate that two predominant types of H. influenzae type b strains have the potential to spread among children with meningitis in Hanoi, Vietnam.
PMCID: PMC1153806  PMID: 15872287
17.  Snapshot of Moving and Expanding Clones of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Their Global Distribution Assessed by Spoligotyping in an International Study†  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(5):1963-1970.
The present update on the global distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex spoligotypes provides both the octal and binary descriptions of the spoligotypes for M. tuberculosis complex, including Mycobacterium bovis, from >90 countries (13,008 patterns grouped into 813 shared types containing 11,708 isolates and 1,300 orphan patterns). A number of potential indices were developed to summarize the information on the biogeographical specificity of a given shared type, as well as its geographical spreading (matching code and spreading index, respectively). To facilitate the analysis of hundreds of spoligotypes each made up of a binary succession of 43 bits of information, a number of major and minor visual rules were also defined. A total of six major rules (A to F) with the precise description of the extra missing spacers (minor rules) were used to define 36 major clades (or families) of M. tuberculosis. Some major clades identified were the East African-Indian (EAI) clade, the Beijing clade, the Haarlem clade, the Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM) clade, the Central Asian (CAS) clade, a European clade of IS6110 low banders (X; highly prevalent in the United States and United Kingdom), and a widespread yet poorly defined clade (T). When the visual rules defined above were used for an automated labeling of the 813 shared types to define nine superfamilies of strains (Mycobacterium africanum, Beijing, M. bovis, EAI, CAS, T, Haarlem, X, and LAM), 96.9% of the shared types received a label, showing the potential for automated labeling of M. tuberculosis families in well-defined phylogeographical families. Intercontinental matches of shared types among eight continents and subcontinents (Africa, North America, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Far East) are analyzed and discussed.
PMCID: PMC154710  PMID: 12734235
18.  Global Distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Spoligotypes 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(11):1347-1349.
We present a short summary of recent observations on the global distribution of the major clades of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the causative agent of tuberculosis. This global distribution was defined by data-mining of an international spoligotyping database, SpolDB3. This database contains 11,708 patterns from as many clinical isolates originating from more than 90 countries. The 11,708 spoligotypes were clustered into 813 shared types. A total of 1,300 orphan patterns (clinical isolates showing a unique spoligotype) were also detected.
PMCID: PMC2738532  PMID: 12453368
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; spoligotyping
19.  The incidence and aetiology of hospitalised community-acquired pneumonia among Vietnamese adults: a prospective surveillance in Central Vietnam 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:296.
Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) including Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common infectious disease that is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The patterns of aetiological pathogens differ by region and country. Special attention must be paid to CAP in Southeast Asia (SEA), a region facing rapid demographic transition. Estimates burden and aetiological patterns of CAP are essential for the clinical and public health management. The purposes of the study are to determine the incidence, aetiological pathogens, clinical pictures and risk factors of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the Vietnamese adult population.
A prospective surveillance for hospitalised adult CAP was conducted in Khanh Hoa Province, Central Vietnam. All adults aged ≥15 years with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) admitted to a provincial hospital from September 2009 to August 2010 were enrolled in the study. Patients were classified into CAP and non-pneumonic LRTI (NPLRTI) according to the radiological findings. Bacterial pathogens were identified from sputum samples by the conventional culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis; 13 respiratory viruses were identified from nasopharyngeal specimens by PCR.
Of all 367 LRTI episodes examined, 174 (47%) were CAP. Older age, the presence of underlying respiratory conditions, and higher index score of smoking were associated with CAP. The one-year estimated incidence of hospitalised adult CAP in our study population was 0.81 per 1,000 person years. The incidence increased considerably with age and was highest among the elderly. The case fatality proportion of hospitalised CAP patients was 9.8%. Among 286 sputum samples tested for bacterial PCR, 79 (28%) were positive for H. influenzae, and 65 (23%) were positive for S. pneumoniae. Among 357 samples tested for viral PCR, 73 (21%) were positive for respiratory viruses; influenza A (n = 32, 9%) was the most common.
The current adult CAP incidence in Vietnam was relatively low; this result was mainly attributed to the young age of our study population.
PMCID: PMC3702433  PMID: 23815298
Community-acquired pneumonia; Aetiology; Incidence; Ageing; Southeast Asia; Vietnam; Viral pneumonia; Nasopharyngeal swab; Multiplex PCR
20.  The Enhanced Pneumococcal LAMP Assay: A Clinical Tool for the Diagnosis of Meningitis Due to Streptococcus pneumoniae 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42954.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of invasive bacterial disease in developed and developing countries. We studied the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique to assess its suitability for detecting S. pneumoniae nucleic acid in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Methodology/Principal Findings
We established an improved LAMP assay targeting the lytA gene (Streptococcus pneumoniae [Sp] LAMP). The analytical specificity of the primers was validated by using 32 reference strains (10 Streptococcus and seven non-Streptococcus species) plus 25 clinical alpha-hemolytic streptococcal strains, including four S. pneumoniae strains and 21 other strains (3 S. oralis, 17 S. mitis, and one Streptococcus species) harboring virulence factor-encoding genes (lytA or ply). Within 30 minutes, the assay could detect as few as 10 copies of both purified DNA and spiked CSF specimens with greater sensitivity than conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The linear determination range for this assay is 10 to 1,000,000 microorganisms per reaction mixture using real-time turbidimetry. We evaluated the clinical sensitivity and specificity of the Sp LAMP assay using 106 randomly selected CSF specimens from children with suspected meningitis in Korea, China and Vietnam. For comparison, CSF specimens were also tested against conventional PCR and culture tests. The detection rate of the LAMP method was substantially higher than the rates of PCR and culture tests. In this small sample, relative to the LAMP assay, the clinical sensitivity of PCR and culture tests was 54.5% and 33.3%, respectively, while clinical specificity of the two tests was 100%.
Compared to PCR, Sp LAMP detected S. pneumoniae with higher analytical and clinical sensitivity. This specific and sensitive LAMP method offers significant advantages for screening patients on a population basis and for diagnosis in clinical settings.
PMCID: PMC3416792  PMID: 22900070
21.  Antimicrobial Drug Resistance of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi in Asia and Molecular Mechanism of Reduced Susceptibility to the Fluoroquinolones▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2007;51(12):4315-4323.
This study describes the pattern and extent of drug resistance in 1,774 strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi isolated across Asia between 1993 and 2005 and characterizes the molecular mechanisms underlying the reduced susceptibilities to fluoroquinolones of these strains. For 1,393 serovar Typhi strains collected in southern Vietnam, the proportion of multidrug resistance has remained high since 1993 (50% in 2004) and there was a dramatic increase in nalidixic acid resistance between 1993 (4%) and 2005 (97%). In a cross-sectional sample of 381 serovar Typhi strains from 8 Asian countries, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, and central Vietnam, collected in 2002 to 2004, various rates of multidrug resistance (16 to 37%) and nalidixic acid resistance (5 to 51%) were found. The eight Asian countries involved in this study are home to approximately 80% of the world's typhoid fever cases. These results document the scale of drug resistance across Asia. The Ser83→Phe substitution in GyrA was the predominant alteration in serovar Typhi strains from Vietnam (117/127 isolates; 92.1%). No mutations in gyrB, parC, or parE were detected in 55 of these strains. In vitro time-kill experiments showed a reduction in the efficacy of ofloxacin against strains harboring a single-amino-acid substitution at codon 83 or 87 of GyrA; this effect was more marked against a strain with a double substitution. The 8-methoxy fluoroquinolone gatifloxacin showed rapid killing of serovar Typhi harboring both the single- and double-amino-acid substitutions.
PMCID: PMC2167998  PMID: 17908946

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