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1.  Melioidosis Diagnostic Workshop, 20131 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2015;21(2):e141045.
Melioidosis is a severe disease that can be difficult to diagnose because of its diverse clinical manifestations and a lack of adequate diagnostic capabilities for suspected cases. There is broad interest in improving detection and diagnosis of this disease not only in melioidosis-endemic regions but also outside these regions because melioidosis may be underreported and poses a potential bioterrorism challenge for public health authorities. Therefore, a workshop of academic, government, and private sector personnel from around the world was convened to discuss the current state of melioidosis diagnostics, diagnostic needs, and future directions.
doi:10.3201/eid2102.141045
PMCID: PMC4313648  PMID: 25626057
melioidosis; Burkholderia pseudomallei; diagnosis; bacteria
2.  Clinical, Environmental, and Serologic Surveillance Studies of Melioidosis in Gabon, 2012–2013 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2015;21(1):40-47.
Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. thailandensis are in the soil; a novel B. pseudomallei sequence type causes lethal septic shock.
Burkholderia pseudomallei, an environmental gram-negative bacillus, is the causative agent of melioidosis and a bio-threat agent. Reports of B. pseudomallei isolation from soil and animals in East and West Africa suggest that melioidosis might be more widely distributed than previously thought. Because it has been found in equatorial areas with tropical climates, we hypothesized that B. pseudomallei could exist in Gabon. During 2012–2013, we conducted a seroprevalance study in which we set up microbiology facilities at a large clinical referral center and prospectively screened all febrile patients by conducting blood cultures and testing for B. pseudomallei and related species; we also determined whether B. pseudomallei could be isolated from soil. We discovered a novel B. pseudomallei sequence type that caused lethal septic shock and identified B. pseudomallei and B. thailandensis in the environment. Our data suggest that melioidosis is emerging in Central Africa but is unrecognized because of the lack of diagnostic microbiology facilities.
doi:10.3201/eid2101.140762
PMCID: PMC4285261  PMID: 25530077
Burkholderia pseudomallei; Burkholderia thailandensis; melioidosis; epidemiology; seroprevalance; Africa; Gabon; soil; sepsis; bacteria
3.  Failure of Burkholderia pseudomallei to Grow in an Automated Blood Culture System 
We compared the organisms isolated from 30,210 pairs of blood culture bottles by using BacT/Alert system and the conventional system. Overall, 2,575 (8.5%) specimens were culture positive for pathogenic organisms. The sensitivity for detection of pathogenic organisms with the BACT/Alert system (85.6%, 2,203 of 2,575) was significantly higher than that with the conventional method (74.1%, 1,908 of 2,575; P < 0.0001). However, Burkholderia pseudomallei was isolated less often with the BacT/ALERT system (73.5%, 328 of 446) than with the conventional system (90.3%, 403 of 446; P < 0.0001). This finding suggests that use of the conventional culture method in conjunction with the BacT/Alert system may improve the isolation rate for B. pseudomallei in melioidosis-endemic areas.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0018
PMCID: PMC4257642  PMID: 25311697
4.  Maintenance of Leptospira Species in Leptospira Vanaporn Wuthiekanun Agar 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(12):4350-4352.
The maintenance of Leptospira species in liquid or semisolid medium is time-consuming and at risk of contamination due to the needs of routine subculture and dark field microscopy. Using Leptospira Vanaporn Wuthiekanun (LVW) agar, we maintained 100 pathogenic Leptospira isolates for 12 months without the need for subculture and confirmed the viability of all isolates by the naked eye.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02273-14
PMCID: PMC4313312  PMID: 25253789
5.  Burkholderia pseudomallei in Water Supplies, Southern Thailand 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(11):1947-1949.
doi:10.3201/eid2011.140832
PMCID: PMC4215545  PMID: 25340393
melioidosis; B. pseudomallei; water; Phangan; Thailand; bacteria; Koh Phangan
6.  Increasing Incidence of Hospital-Acquired and Healthcare-Associated Bacteremia in Northeast Thailand: A Multicenter Surveillance Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109324.
Background
Little is known about the epidemiology of nosocomial bloodstream infections in public hospitals in developing countries. We evaluated trends in incidence of hospital-acquired bacteremia (HAB) and healthcare-associated bacteremia (HCAB) and associated mortality in a developing country using routinely available databases.
Methods
Information from the microbiology and hospital databases of 10 provincial hospitals in northeast Thailand was linked with the national death registry for 2004–2010. Bacteremia was considered hospital-acquired if detected after the first two days of hospital admission, and healthcare-associated if detected within two days of hospital admission with a prior inpatient episode in the preceding 30 days.
Results
A total of 3,424 patients out of 1,069,443 at risk developed HAB and 2,184 out of 119,286 at risk had HCAB. Of these 1,559 (45.5%) and 913 (41.8%) died within 30 days, respectively. Between 2004 and 2010, the incidence rate of HAB increased from 0.6 to 0.8 per 1,000 patient-days at risk (p<0.001), and the cumulative incidence of HCAB increased from 1.2 to 2.0 per 100 readmissions (p<0.001). The most common causes of HAB were Acinetobacter spp. (16.2%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (13.9%), and Staphylococcus aureus (13.9%), while those of HCAB were Escherichia coli (26.3%), S. aureus (14.0%), and K. pneumoniae (9.7%). There was an overall increase over time in the proportions of ESBL-producing E. coli causing HAB and HCAB.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates a high and increasing incidence of HAB and HCAB in provincial hospitals in northeast Thailand, increasing proportions of ESBL-producing isolates, and very high associated mortality.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109324
PMCID: PMC4195656  PMID: 25310563
7.  NLRC4 and TLR5 Each Contribute to Host Defense in Respiratory Melioidosis 
Burkholderia pseudomallei causes the tropical infection melioidosis. Pneumonia is a common manifestation of melioidosis and is associated with high mortality. Understanding the key elements of host defense is essential to developing new therapeutics for melioidosis. As a flagellated bacterium encoding type III secretion systems, B. pseudomallei may trigger numerous host pathogen recognition receptors. TLR5 is a flagellin sensor located on the plasma membrane. NLRC4, along with NAIP proteins, assembles a canonical caspase-1-dependent inflammasome in the cytoplasm that responds to flagellin (in mice) and type III secretion system components (in mice and humans). In a murine model of respiratory melioidosis, Tlr5 and Nlrc4 each contributed to survival. Mice deficient in both Tlr5 and Nlrc4 were not more susceptible than single knockout animals. Deficiency of Casp1/Casp11 resulted in impaired bacterial control in the lung and spleen; in the lung much of this effect was attributable to Nlrc4, despite relative preservation of pulmonary IL-1β production in Nlrc4−/− mice. Histologically, deficiency of Casp1/Casp11 imparted more severe pulmonary inflammation than deficiency of Nlrc4. The human NLRC4 region polymorphism rs6757121 was associated with survival in melioidosis patients with pulmonary involvement. Co-inheritance of rs6757121 and a functional TLR5 polymorphism had an additive effect on survival. Our results show that NLRC4 and TLR5, key components of two flagellin sensing pathways, each contribute to host defense in respiratory melioidosis.
Author Summary
Melioidosis is an infection caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium that is found in tropical soil and water. Melioidosis can present in a variety of ways, but lung involvement is common and usually severe. The host response to infection governs outcome. In this study, we examined the role of two host sensors of bacterial components–TLR5 and NLRC4–to determine their necessity in respiratory melioidosis. Although both proteins are involved in detection of bacterial flagellin, in mice we defined specific and individual roles for TLR5 and NLRC4 in protecting against death from melioidosis. In humans with melioidosis involving the lung, genetic variation in these receptors also had independent associations with survival. These results underscore the importance of these elements of host defense in respiratory melioidosis and support further studies of the underlying mechanisms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003178
PMCID: PMC4169243  PMID: 25232720
8.  Microevolution of Burkholderia pseudomallei during an Acute Infection 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(9):3418-3421.
We used whole-genome sequencing to evaluate 69 independent colonies of Burkholderia pseudomallei isolated from seven body sites of a patient with acute disseminated melioidosis. Fourteen closely related genotypes were found, providing evidence for the rapid in vivo diversification of B. pseudomallei after inoculation and systemic spread.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01219-14
PMCID: PMC4313173  PMID: 24966357
9.  Fatal Melioidosis in Goats in Bangkok, Thailand 
Bangkok, Thailand, is a city considered to be at low risk for melioidosis. We describe 10 goats that died of melioidosis in Bangkok. Half of them were born and reared in the city. Multilocus sequence typing ruled out an outbreak. This finding challenges the assumption that melioidosis is rarely acquired in central Thailand.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0115
PMCID: PMC4125250  PMID: 24891468
10.  The role of NOD2 in murine and human melioidosis 
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)  2013;192(1):10.4049/jimmunol.1301436.
NOD2 is a cytosolic pathogen recognition receptor that regulates susceptibility to a variety of infections and chronic diseases. Burkholderia pseudomallei, a facultative intracellular bacterium, causes the tropical infection melioidosis. We hypothesized that NOD2 may participate in host defense in melioidosis. We performed a series of in vitro assays and in vivo experiments, and analyzed the association of human genetic variation with infection to delineate the contribution of NOD2 to the host response to B. pseudomallei. We found that transfection with NOD2 mediated NF-κB activation induced by B. pseudomallei stimulation of HEK293 cells. After low dose inoculation with aerosolized B. pseudomallei, Nod2-deficient mice showed impaired clinical responses and permitted greater bacterial replication in the lung and dissemination to the spleen compared to wild type mice. IL-6 and KC levels were higher in the lungs of Nod2-deficient mice. In a cohort of 1,562 Thai subjects, a common genetic polymorphism in the NOD2 region, rs7194886, was associated with melioidosis and this effect was most pronounced in women. rs7194886 was not associated with differences in cytokine production induced by whole blood stimulation with the NOD2 ligand, MDP, or B. pseudomallei. These findings are the first to characterize the role of NOD2 in host defense in mammalian melioidosis.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1301436
PMCID: PMC3872087  PMID: 24298015
Burkholderia pseudomallei; melioidosis; NOD2; innate immunity; genetic variation; animal model; pneumonia; sepsis
11.  The role of NOD2 in murine and human melioidosis 
NOD2 is a cytosolic pathogen recognition receptor that regulates susceptibility to a variety of infections and chronic diseases. Burkholderia pseudomallei, a facultative intracellular bacterium, causes the tropical infection melioidosis. We hypothesized that NOD2 may participate in host defense in melioidosis. We performed a series of in vitro assays and in vivo experiments, and analyzed the association of human genetic variation with infection to delineate the contribution of NOD2 to the host response to B. pseudomallei. We found that transfection with NOD2 mediated NF-κB activation induced by B. pseudomallei stimulation of HEK293 cells. After low dose inoculation with aerosolized B. pseudomallei, Nod2-deficient mice showed impaired clinical responses and permitted greater bacterial replication in the lung and dissemination to the spleen compared to wild type mice. IL-6 and KC levels were higher in the lungs of Nod2-deficient mice. In a cohort of 1,562 Thai subjects, a common genetic polymorphism in the NOD2 region, rs7194886, was associated with melioidosis and this effect was most pronounced in women. rs7194886 was not associated with differences in cytokine production induced by whole blood stimulation with the NOD2 ligand, MDP, or B. pseudomallei. These findings are the first to characterize the role of NOD2 in host defense in mammalian melioidosis.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1301436
PMCID: PMC3872087  PMID: 24298015
Burkholderia pseudomallei; melioidosis; NOD2; innate immunity; genetic variation; animal model; pneumonia; sepsis
12.  New Insights from the 7th World Melioidosis Congress 2013 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(7):e131737.
doi:10.3201/eid2007.131737
PMCID: PMC4073878  PMID: 24961743
World Melioidosis Congress 2013; Burkholderia pseudomallei; melioidosis; current challenges; environmental saprophyte; bacterium; resource sharing
13.  Evaluation of a Latex Agglutination Assay for the Identification of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei 
Cases of melioidosis and glanders are rare in the United States, but the etiologic agents of each disease (Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei, respectively) are classified as Tier 1 select agents because of concerns about their potential use as bioterrorism agents. A rapid, highly sensitive, and portable assay for clinical laboratories and field use is required. Our laboratory has further evaluated a latex agglutination assay for its ability to identify B. pseudomallei and B. mallei isolates. This assay uses a monoclonal antibody that specifically recognizes the capsular polysaccharide produced by B. pseudomallei and B. mallei, but is absent in closely related Burkholderia species. A total of 110 B. pseudomallei and B. mallei were tested, and 36 closely related Burkholderia species. The latex agglutination assay was positive for 109 of 110 (99.1% sensitivity) B. pseudomallei and B. mallei isolates tested.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0025
PMCID: PMC4047727  PMID: 24710616
14.  Zero tolerance for healthcare-associated MRSA bacteraemia: is it realistic? 
Background
The term ‘zero tolerance’ has recently been applied to healthcare-associated infections, implying that such events are always preventable. This may not be the case for healthcare-associated infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia.
Methods
We combined information from an epidemiological investigation and bacterial whole-genome sequencing to evaluate a cluster of five MRSA bacteraemia episodes in four patients in a specialist hepatology unit.
Results
The five MRSA bacteraemia isolates were highly related by multilocus sequence type (ST) (four isolates were ST22 and one isolate was a single-locus variant, ST2046). Whole-genome sequencing demonstrated unequivocally that the bacteraemia cases were unrelated. Placing the MRSA bacteraemia isolates within a local and global phylogenetic tree of MRSA ST22 genomes demonstrated that the five bacteraemia isolates were highly diverse. This was consistent with the acquisition and importation of MRSA from the wider referral network. Analysis of MRSA carriage and disease in patients within the hepatology service demonstrated a higher risk of both initial MRSA acquisition compared with the nephrology service and a higher risk of progression from MRSA carriage to bacteraemia, compared with patients in nephrology or geriatric services. A root cause analysis failed to reveal any mechanism by which three of five MRSA bacteraemia episodes could have been prevented.
Conclusions
This study illustrates the complex nature of MRSA carriage and bacteraemia in patients in a specialized hepatology unit. Despite numerous ongoing interventions to prevent MRSA bacteraemia in healthcare settings, these are unlikely to result in a zero incidence in referral centres that treat highly complex patients.
doi:10.1093/jac/dku128
PMCID: PMC4100711  PMID: 24788657
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; outbreak; whole-genome sequencing
15.  Development of a Prototype Lateral Flow Immunoassay (LFI) for the Rapid Diagnosis of Melioidosis 
Burkholderia pseudomallei is a soil-dwelling bacterium and the causative agent of melioidosis. Isolation of B. pseudomallei from clinical samples is the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of melioidosis; results can take 3–7 days to produce. Alternatively, antibody-based tests have low specificity due to a high percentage of seropositive individuals in endemic areas. There is a clear need to develop a rapid point-of-care antigen detection assay for the diagnosis of melioidosis. Previously, we employed In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery (InMAD) to identify potential B. pseudomallei diagnostic biomarkers. The B. pseudomallei capsular polysaccharide (CPS) and numerous protein antigens were identified as potential candidates. Here, we describe the development of a diagnostic immunoassay based on the detection of CPS. Following production of a CPS-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), an antigen-capture immunoassay was developed to determine the concentration of CPS within a panel of melioidosis patient serum and urine samples. The same mAb was used to produce a prototype Active Melioidosis Detect Lateral Flow Immunoassay (AMD LFI); the limit of detection of the LFI for CPS is comparable to the antigen-capture immunoassay (∼0.2 ng/ml). The analytical reactivity (inclusivity) of the AMD LFI was 98.7% (76/77) when tested against a large panel of B. pseudomallei isolates. Analytical specificity (cross-reactivity) testing determined that 97.2% of B. pseudomallei near neighbor species (35/36) were not reactive. The non-reactive B. pseudomallei strain and the reactive near neighbor strain can be explained through genetic sequence analysis. Importantly, we show the AMD LFI is capable of detecting CPS in a variety of patient samples. The LFI is currently being evaluated in Thailand and Australia; the focus is to optimize and validate testing procedures on melioidosis patient samples prior to initiation of a large, multisite pre-clinical evaluation.
Author Summary
Burkholderia pseudomallei is an environmental bacterium and the cause of melioidosis. Culture of patient samples is the “gold standard” diagnostic test, but may take up to 7 days to complete. Melioidosis has a 10–40% case fatality rate depending on the geographic location. Delays in diagnosis could lead to administration of ineffective antimicrobial therapy, since B. pseudomallei is resistant to empiric antibiotic regimens. Therefore, we have developed a lateral flow immunoassay that can be used in the clinical setting to diagnose melioidosis in 15 minutes. The test promises to provide improved management of patients with melioidosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002727
PMCID: PMC3961207  PMID: 24651568
16.  Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole versus trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus doxycycline as oral eradicative treatment for melioidosis (MERTH): a multicentre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial 
Lancet  2014;383(9919):807-814.
Summary
Background
Melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by the Gram-negative bacillus Burkholderia pseudomallei, is difficult to cure. Antimicrobial treatment comprises intravenous drugs for at least 10 days, followed by oral drugs for at least 12 weeks. The standard oral regimen based on trial evidence is trimethoprim-sulfamethoxaxole (TMP-SMX) plus doxycycline. This regimen is used in Thailand but is associated with side-effects and poor adherence by patients, and TMP-SMX alone is recommended in Australia. We compared the efficacy and side-effects of TMP-SMX with TMP-SMX plus doxycycline for the oral phase of melioidosis treatment.
Methods
For this multi-centre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised placebo-controlled trial, we enrolled patients (aged ≥15 years) from five centres in northeast Thailand with culture-confirmed melioidosis who had received a course of parenteral antimicrobial drugs. Using a computer-generated sequence, we randomly assigned patients to receive TMP-SMX plus placebo or TMP-SMX plus doxycycline for 20 weeks (1:1; block size of ten, stratified by study site). We followed patients up every 4 months for 1 year and annually thereafter to the end of the study. The primary endpoint was culture-confirmed recurrent melioidosis, and the non-inferiority margin was a hazard ratio (HR) of 1·7. This study is registered with www.controlled-trials.com, number ISRCTN86140460.
Findings
We enrolled and randomly assigned 626 patients: 311 to TMP-SMX plus placebo and 315 to TMP-SMX plus doxycycline. 16 patients (5%) in the TMP-SMX plus placebo group and 21 patients (7%) in the TMP-SMX plus doxycycline group developed culture-confirmed recurrent melioidosis (HR 0·81; 95% CI 0·42–1·55). The criterion for non-inferiority was met (p=0.01). Adverse drug reactions were less common in the TMP-SMX plus placebo group than in the TMP-SMX plus doxycycline group (122 [39%] vs 167 [53%]).
Interpretation
Our findings suggest that TMP-SMX is not inferior to TMP-SMX plus doxycycline for the oral phase of melioidosis treatment, and is preferable on the basis of safety and tolerance by patients.
Funding
Thailand Research Fund, the Melioidosis Research Center, the Center of Excellence in Specific Health Problems in Greater Mekong Sub-region cluster, and the Wellcome Trust.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61951-0
PMCID: PMC3939931  PMID: 24284287
18.  Melioidosis Caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei in Drinking Water, Thailand, 2012 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(2):265-268.
We identified 10 patients in Thailand with culture-confirmed melioidosis who had Burkholderia pseudomallei isolated from their drinking water. The multilocus sequence type of B. pseudomallei from clinical specimens and water samples were identical for 2 patients. This finding suggests that drinking water is a preventable source of B. pseudomallei infection.
doi:10.3201/eid2002.121891
PMCID: PMC3901481  PMID: 24447771
melioidosis; Burkholderia pseudomallei; bacteria; drinking water; genotyping; Thailand
19.  Common TLR1 Genetic Variation Is Not Associated with Death from Melioidosis, a Common Cause of Sepsis in Rural Thailand 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83285.
Melioidosis, infection caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a common cause of sepsis in northeast Thailand. In white North Americans, common functional genetic variation in TLR1 is associated with organ failure and death from sepsis. We hypothesized that TLR1 variants would be associated with outcomes in Thais with melioidosis. We collated the global frequencies of three TLR1 variants that are common in white North American populations: rs5743551 (-7202A/G), rs4833095 (742A/G), and rs5743618 (1804G/T). We noted a reversal of the minor allele from white North American subjects to Asian populations that was particularly pronounced for rs5743618. In the Utah residents of European ancestry, the frequency of the rs5743618 T allele was 17% whereas in Vietnamese subjects the frequency was >99%. We conducted a genetic association study in 427 patients with melioidosis to determine the association of TLR1 variation with organ failure or death. We genotyped rs5743551 and rs4833095. The variants were in high linkage disequilibrium but neither variant was associated with organ failure or in-hospital death. In 300 healthy Thai individuals we further tested the association of TLR1 variation with ex vivo blood responses to Pam3CSK4, a TLR1 agonist. Neither variant was robustly associated with blood cytokine responses induced by Pam3CSK4. We identified additional common variation in TLR1 by searching public databases and the published literature and screened three additional TLR1 variants for associations with Pam3CSK4-induced responses but found none. We conclude that the genetic architecture of TLR1 variation differs substantially in southeast Asians compared to other populations and common variation in TLR1 in Thais is not associated with outcome from melioidosis or with altered blood responses to Pam3CSK4. Our findings highlight the need for additional studies of TLR1 and other innate immune genetic modulators of the inflammatory host response and determinants of sepsis in southeast Asian populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083285
PMCID: PMC3879377  PMID: 24392083
20.  Determinants of Mortality in a Combined Cohort of 501 Patients With HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Meningitis: Implications for Improving Outcomes 
Cerebrospinal fluid fungal burden, altered mental status, and rate of clearance of infection predict acute mortality in HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis. The identification of factors associated with mortality informs strategies to improve outcomes.
Background. Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is a leading cause of death in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Identifying factors associated with mortality informs strategies to improve outcomes.
Methods. Five hundred one patients with HIV-associated CM were followed prospectively for 10 weeks during trials in Thailand, Uganda, Malawi, and South Africa. South African patients (n = 266) were followed for 1 year. Similar inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied at all sites. Logistic regression identified baseline variables independently associated with mortality.
Results. Mortality was 17% at 2 weeks and 34% at 10 weeks. Altered mental status (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7–5.9), high cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fungal burden (OR, 1.4 per log10 colony-forming units/mL increase; 95% CI, 1.0–1.8), older age (>50 years; OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.4–11.1), high peripheral white blood cell count (>10 × 109 cells/L; OR, 8.7; 95% CI, 2.5–30.2), fluconazole-based induction treatment, and slow clearance of CSF infection were independently associated with 2-week mortality. Low body weight, anemia (hemoglobin <7.5 g/dL), and low CSF opening pressure were independently associated with mortality at 10 weeks in addition to altered mental status, high fungal burden, high peripheral white cell count, and older age.
In those followed for 1 year, overall mortality was 41%. Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome occurred in 13% of patients and was associated with 2-week CSF fungal burden (P = .007), but not with time to initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Conclusions. CSF fungal burden, altered mental status, and rate of clearance of infection predict acute mortality in HIV-associated CM. The results suggest that earlier diagnosis, more rapidly fungicidal amphotericin-based regimens, and prompt immune reconstitution with ART are priorities for improving outcomes.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit794
PMCID: PMC3922213  PMID: 24319084
cryptococcal meningitis; Cryptococcus neoformans; HIV; antiretroviral therapy; mortality (determinants)
21.  Using a Web-Based Application to Define the Accuracy of Diagnostic Tests When the Gold Standard Is Imperfect  
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79489.
Background
Estimates of the sensitivity and specificity for new diagnostic tests based on evaluation against a known gold standard are imprecise when the accuracy of the gold standard is imperfect. Bayesian latent class models (LCMs) can be helpful under these circumstances, but the necessary analysis requires expertise in computational programming. Here, we describe open-access web-based applications that allow non-experts to apply Bayesian LCMs to their own data sets via a user-friendly interface.
Methods/Principal Findings
Applications for Bayesian LCMs were constructed on a web server using R and WinBUGS programs. The models provided (http://mice.tropmedres.ac) include two Bayesian LCMs: the two-tests in two-population model (Hui and Walter model) and the three-tests in one-population model (Walter and Irwig model). Both models are available with simplified and advanced interfaces. In the former, all settings for Bayesian statistics are fixed as defaults. Users input their data set into a table provided on the webpage. Disease prevalence and accuracy of diagnostic tests are then estimated using the Bayesian LCM, and provided on the web page within a few minutes. With the advanced interfaces, experienced researchers can modify all settings in the models as needed. These settings include correlation among diagnostic test results and prior distributions for all unknown parameters. The web pages provide worked examples with both models using the original data sets presented by Hui and Walter in 1980, and by Walter and Irwig in 1988. We also illustrate the utility of the advanced interface using the Walter and Irwig model on a data set from a recent melioidosis study. The results obtained from the web-based applications were comparable to those published previously.
Conclusions
The newly developed web-based applications are open-access and provide an important new resource for researchers worldwide to evaluate new diagnostic tests.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079489
PMCID: PMC3827152  PMID: 24265775
22.  Rapid Detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei in Blood Cultures Using a Monoclonal Antibody-Based Immunofluorescent Assay 
Melioidosis is a severe bacterial infection caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei. Rapid antimicrobial therapy is necessary to improve patient outcome, which is aided by direct detection of B. pseudomallei in clinical samples. A drawback for all antigen assays is that the number of B. pseudomallei in blood usually falls below the achievable level of detection. We performed a prospective cohort study of 461 patients with 541 blood cultures to evaluate the utility of a pre-incubation step prior to detection of B. pseudomallei using a monoclonal antibody-based immunofluorescent assay (Mab-IFA). The Mab-IFA was positive in 74 of 76 patients with melioidosis (sensitivity = 97.4%), and negative in 385 patients who did not have blood cultures containing B. pseudomallei (specificity = 100%). The Mab-IFA could be a valuable supplementary tool for rapid detection. We recommend the use of the Mab-IFA to test blood cultures that flag positive in regions where melioidosis is endemic.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0212
PMCID: PMC3820345  PMID: 24019434
23.  Prevalence of Melioidosis in Patients with Suspected Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Sputum Smear Negative for Acid-Fast Bacilli in Northeast Thailand 
The clinical and radiological features of pulmonary melioidosis can mimic tuberculosis. We prospectively evaluated 118 patients with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis who were acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear negative at Udon Thani Hospital, northeast Thailand. Culture of residual sputum from AFB testing was positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei in three patients (2.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.5–7.3%). We propose that in melioidosis-endemic areas, residual sputum from AFB testing should be routinely cultured for B. pseudomallei.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0286
PMCID: PMC3820347  PMID: 24062474
24.  Correction: Epidemiology, Microbiology and Mortality Associated with Community-Acquired Bacteremia in Northeast Thailand: A Multicenter Surveillance Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):10.1371/annotation/e199ebcc-0bc1-4be1-ad91-ad2a8c0c9382.
doi:10.1371/annotation/e199ebcc-0bc1-4be1-ad91-ad2a8c0c9382
PMCID: PMC3806905
25.  Leptospira Species in Floodwater during the 2011 Floods in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, Thailand 
Floodwater samples (N = 110) collected during the 2011 Bangkok floods were tested for Leptospira using culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR); 65 samples were PCR-positive for putatively non-pathogenic Leptospira species, 1 sample contained a putatively pathogenic Leptospira, and 6 samples contained Leptospira clustering phylogenetically with the intermediate group. The low prevalence of pathogenic and intermediate Leptospira in floodwater was consistent with the low number of human leptospirosis cases reported to the Bureau of Epidemiology in Thailand. This study provides baseline information on environmental Leptospira in Bangkok together with a set of laboratory tests that could be readily deployed in the event of future flooding.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0124
PMCID: PMC3795115  PMID: 24002484

Results 1-25 (90)