During August–November 2009, to investigate disease transmission within households in Taiwan, we recruited 87 pandemic (H1N1) 2009 patients and their household members. Overall, pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus was transmitted to 60 (27%) of 223 household contacts. Transmission was 4× higher to children than to adults (61% vs. 15%; p<0.001).
influenza virus subtype H1N1; pandemic (H1N1) 2009; household transmission; outcome; virus; viruses; influenza; Taiwan; dispatch
Background. Mismatch between circulating influenza B viruses (Yamagata and Victoria lineages) and vaccine strains occurs frequently.
Methods. In a randomized controlled trial, immunogenicity and safety of an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine candidate (QIV) versus trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV)-Victoria(Vic) and TIV-Yamagata(Yam) in children 3–17 years of age was evaluated. In an open-label study arm, QIV only was assessed in children 6–35 months of age.
Results. A total of 3094 children (932 QIV, 929 TIV-Vic, 932 TIV-Yam, and 301 QIV only) were vaccinated. QIV was noninferior to the TIVs for shared strains (A/H3N2 and A/H1N1) based on hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies 28 days after last vaccination, and superior for the unique B strains Victoria and Yamagata (geometric mean titer ratios 2.61, 3.78; seroconversion rate differences 33.96%, 44.63%). Among children in the randomized trial, adverse event rates were similar except for injection site pain (dose 1: 65.4% QIV, 54.6% TIV-Vic, 55.7% TIV-Yam).
Conclusion. QIV elicited superior HI responses to the added B strains compared to TIV controls, potentially improving its effectiveness against influenza B. HI responses were similar between QIV and TIV controls for the shared strains. QIV had an acceptable safety profile relative to TIVs.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT01198756.
influenza vaccine; immunogenicity; children
Transcription and replication of the influenza A virus RNA genome occur in the nucleus through the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase consisting of PB1, PB2, and PA. Cellular factors that associate with the viral polymerase complex play important roles in these processes. To look for cellular factors that could associate with influenza A virus PA protein, we have carried out a yeast two-hybrid screen using a HeLa cell cDNA library. We identified six cellular proteins that may interact with PA. We focused our study on one of the new PA-interacting proteins, HAX1, a protein with antiapoptotic function. By using glutathione S-transferase pulldown and coimmunoprecipitation assays, we demonstrate that HAX1 specifically interacts with PA in vitro and in vivo and that HAX1 interacts with the nuclear localization signal domain of PA. Nuclear accumulation of PA was increased in HAX1-knockdown cells, and this phenotype could be reversed by reexpression of HAX1, indicating that HAX1 can impede nuclear transport of PA. As a consequence, knockdown of HAX1 resulted in a significant increase in virus yield and polymerase activity in a minigenome assay, and this phenotype could be reversed by reexpression of HAX1, indicating that HAX1 can inhibit influenza A virus propagation. Together, these results not only provide insight into the mechanism underlying nuclear transport of PA but also identify an intrinsic host factor that restricts influenza A virus infection.
In 2010, we observed children with atypical presentations of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), such as rashes on earlobes and faces, or bullae on trunks and bilateral limbs. Hyperpigmentation later developed as the bullous lesions crusted. Thus, we intended to study the etiology of the illness and the phylogeny of the pathogens.
Patients were prospectively enrolled in a tertiary medical center in Taipei, Taiwan. The definition of atypical HFMD includes symptoms of acute viral infection with either of the following presentations: (1) maculopapular rashes presenting on the trunks, buttocks or facial areas, or (2) large vesicles or bullae on any sites of the body. Patients were classified into two groups according to vesicle sizes by two pediatricians at different points in time. The large vesicle group was defined as having vesciculobullous lesions ≥ 1 cm in diameter; the small rashes group had maculopapular rashes < 1cm in diameter. Two throat swabs were collected from each patient for virus isolation and reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions.
We enrolled 101 patients between March and December 2010. The mean age of the participants was 3.3 ± 3.0 years (median age: 2.5 years, range: 21 days-13.5 years). The ratio of males to females was 1.8 to 1. All samples were enterovirus-positive, including coxsackievirus A6 (80%), coxsackievirus A16 (6%), enterovirus 71 (1%), coxsackievirus A5 (1%) and 12 non-typable enterovirus (12%). Bullous fluid aspirated from 2 patients also grew coxsackievirus A6. Among the patients infected with coxsackievirus A6, 54% (45/81) had bullae, compared to 25% (5/20) of those having non-coxsackievirus A6 infections (P=0.02). Fourteen cases had myoclonic jerks and one boy was diagnosed with febrile convulsions. None had complications or sequelae. Phylogenetic analysis showed the strains in Taiwan in 2010 shared more commonality with strains from Finland in 2009 (GenBank: FJ870502-FJ870508), and were close to those circulating in Japan in 2011 (GenBank: AB649286-AB649291).
Coxsackievirus A6 infections may cause atypical manifestations of HFMD, including vesicles or papules on faces or bullae on trunks. These features could provide valuable information to distinguish this versatile enterovirus infection from other virus-induced vesiculobullous diseases.
Hand-foot-mouth disease; Onychomadesis; Vesiculobullous rash; Large vesicles; Enterovirus; Pigmentation; Phylogenetic analysis
Enhanced molecular surveillance of virulent clones with higher competence can detect serotype switching.
From 2003 to 2005, we prospectively collected 118 isolates of pneumococci belonging to 7 serotypes to investigate their competence under the influence of the synthetic competence-stimulating peptides. The degree of competence of the various serotypes differed significantly. Serotype 6B had the highest competence, followed by serotypes 14, 19F, 9V, 23F, 3, and 18C. Isolates belonging to serotype 6B had greater genetic diversity than isolates belonging to serotype 3, which has high genetic clustering. Isolates belonging to serotypes 3 and 18C that were 100% sensitive to penicillin were significantly less competent than isolates belonging to serotypes 6B, 14, 19F, 9V, and 23F, which were frequently resistant to penicillin. Under the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine program, enhanced molecular surveillance of virulent clones with higher competence to detect serotype switching will become more important.
Streptococcus pneumoniae; competence; serotype; antimicrobial resistance; research
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition with complex etiology defined by the presence of endometrial glands and stroma outside the womb. Endometriosis is a common cause of both cyclic and chronic pelvic pain, reduced fertility, and reduced quality-of-life. Diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis is, on average, delayed by 7–10 years from the onset of symptoms. Absence of a timely and non-invasive diagnostic tool is presently the greatest barrier to the identification and treatment of endometriosis. Twin and family studies have documented an increased relative risk in families. To identify genetic factors that contribute to endometriosis we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) of a European cohort including 2,019 surgically confirmed endometriosis cases and 14,471 controls. Three of the SNPs we identify associated at P<5×10−8 in our combined analysis belong to two loci: LINC00339-WNT4 on 1p36.12 (rs2235529; P = 8.65×10−9, OR = 1.29, CI = 1.18–1.40) and RND3-RBM43 on 2q23.3 (rs1519761; P = 4.70×10−8, OR = 1.20, Cl = 1.13–1.29, and rs6757804; P = 4.05×10−8, OR = 1.20, Cl = 1.13–1.29). Using an adjusted Bonferoni significance threshold of 4.51×10−7 we identify two additional loci in our meta-analysis that associate with endometriosis:, RNF144B-ID4 on 6p22.3 (rs6907340; P = 2.19×10−7, OR = 1.20, Cl = 1.12–1.28), and HNRNPA3P1-LOC100130539 on 10q11.21 (rs10508881; P = 4.08×10−7, OR = 1.19, Cl = 1.11–1.27). Consistent with previously suggested associations to WNT4 our study implicate a 150 kb region around WNT4 that also include LINC00339 and CDC42. A univariate analysis of documented infertility, age at menarche, and family history did not show allelic association with these SNP markers. Clinical data from patients in our study reveal an average delay in diagnosis of 8.4 years and confirm a strong correlation between endometriosis severity and infertility (n = 1182, P<0.001, OR = 2.18). This GWAS of endometriosis was conducted with high diagnostic certainty in cases, and with stringent handling of population substructure. Our findings broaden the understanding of the genetic factors that play a role in endometriosis.
Coxsackievirus A9 (CA9) was one of the most prevalent serotype of enteroviral infections in Taiwan in 2011. After several patient series were reported in the 1960s and 1970s, few studies have focused on the clinical manifestations of CA9 infections. Our study explores and deepens the current understanding of CA9.
We analyzed the clinical presentations of 100 culture-proven CA9-infected patients in 2011 by reviewing their medical records and depicted the CA9 phylogenetic tree.
Of the 100 patients with culture-proven CA9 infections, the mean (SD) age was 4.6 (3.4) years and the male to female ratio was 1.9. For clinical manifestations, 96 patients (96%) had fever and the mean (SD) duration of fever was 5.9 (3.4) days. Sixty one patients (61%) developed a skin rash, and the predominant pattern was a generalized non-itchy maculopapular rash without vesicular changes. While most patients showed injected throat, oral ulcers were found in only 19 cases (19%), among whom, 6 were diagnosed as herpangina. Complicated cases included: aseptic meningitis (n=8), bronchopneumonia (n=6), acute cerebellitis (n=1), and polio-like syndrome (n=1). Phylogenetic analysis for current CA9 strains is closest to the CA9 isolate 27-YN-2008 from the border area of mainland China and Myanmar.
The most common feature of CA9 during the 2011 epidemic in Taiwan is generalized febrile exanthema rather than herpangina or hand, foot, and mouth disease. Given that prolonged fever and some complications are possible, caution should be advised in assessing patients as well as in predicting the clinical course.
Coxsackievirus A9; Enterovirus; Viral exanthema; Phylogenetic tree
Adenovirus type 7 caused a high proportion of severe infections.
In 2011, a large community outbreak of human adenovirus (HAdV) in Taiwan was detected by a nationwide surveillance system. The epidemic lasted from week 11 through week 41 of 2011 (March 14–October 16, 2011). Although HAdV-3 was the predominant strain detected (74%), an abrupt increase in the percentage of infections caused by HAdV-7 occurred, from 0.3% in 2008–2010 to 10% in 2011. Clinical information was collected for 202 inpatients infected with HAdV; 31 (15.2%) had severe infection that required intensive care, and 7 of those patients died. HAdV-7 accounted for 10%, 12%, and 41% of infections among outpatients, inpatients with nonsevere infection, and inpatients with severe infection, respectively (p<0.01). The HAdV-7 strain detected in this outbreak is identical to a strain recently reported in the People’s Republic of China (HAdV7-HZ/SHX/CHN/2009). Absence of circulating HAdV-7 in previous years and introduction of an emerging strain are 2 factors that caused this outbreak.
adenovirus; surveillance; pneumonia; outbreak; viruses; Taiwan; severe infection; adenovirus type 7; HAdV; human adenovirus
To probe seroepidemiology of the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) among health care workers (HCWs) in a children's hospital.
From August 2009 to March 2010, serum samples were drawn from 150 HCWs in a children's hospital in Taipei before the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, before H1N1 vaccination, and after the pandemic. HCWs who had come into direct contact with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) patients or their clinical respiratory samples during their daily work were designated as a high-risk group. Antibody levels were determined by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay. A four-fold or greater increase in HAI titers between any successive paired sera was defined as seroconversion, and factors associated with seroconversion were analyzed.
Among the 150 HCWs, 18 (12.0%) showed either virological or serological evidence of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) infection. Of the 90 unvaccinated HCWs, baseline and post-pandemic seroprotective rates were 5.6% and 20.0%. Seroconversion rates among unvaccinated HCWs were 14.4% (13/90), 22.5% (9/40), and 8.0% (4/50) for total, high-risk group, and low-risk group, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed being in the high-risk group is an independent risk factor associated with seroconversion.
The infection rate of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in HCWs was moderate and not higher than that for the general population. The majority of unvaccinated HCWs remained susceptible. Direct contact of influenza patients and their respiratory samples increased the risk of infection.
Influenza; Pandemic; H1N1; Health care workers; Children
Varicella has an important impact on public health. Starting in 2004 in Taiwan, nationwide free varicella vaccinations were given to 1-year-old children.
Our study investigated the epidemiological characteristics of varicella from 2000 to 2008, and assessed the change of varicella epidemiology after the mass varicella immunization. ICD-9-CM codes related to varicella or chickenpox (052, 052.1, 052.2, 052.7, 052.8, 052.9) were analyzed for all young people under 20 years of age through the National Health Insurance database of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008.
Case numbers of varicella or chickenpox significantly declined after the nationwide immunization in 2004. Winter, particularly January, was the epidemic season of varicella. We found a significant post-vaccination decrease in incidence among preschool children, especially 3 to 6 year-old children-- the peak incidence was 66 per thousand for 4 and 5 year-old children before the nationwide immunization (2000 to 2003), and the peak incidence was 23 per thousand for 6 year-old children in 2008 (p < 0.001). Varicella-related hospitalization also significantly decreased in children younger than 6 years after the nationwide immunization.
The varicella annual incidence and varicella-related hospitalization markedly declined in preschool children after nationwide varicella immunization in 2004.
varicella; chickenpox; epidemiology; incidence; vaccine; prevention
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus continues to cause disease in poultry and humans. The hemagglutinin (HA) envelope protein is the primary target for subunit vaccine development.
We used baculovirus-insect cell expression to obtain trimeric recombinant HA (rHA) proteins from two HPAI H5N1 viruses. We investigated trimeric rHA protein immunogenicity in mice via immunizations, and found that the highest levels of neutralizing antibodies resulted from coupling with a PELC/CpG adjuvant. We also found that the combined use of trimeric rHA proteins with (a) an inactivated H5N1 vaccine virus, or (b) a recombinant adenovirus encoding full-length HA sequences for prime-boost immunization, further improved antibody responses against homologous and heterologous H5N1 virus strains. Data from cross-clade prime-boost immunization regimens indicate that sequential immunization with different clade HA antigens increased antibody responses in terms of total IgG level and neutralizing antibody titers.
Our findings suggest that the use of trimeric rHA in prime-boost vaccine regimens represents an alternative strategy for recombinant H5N1 vaccine development.
We studied preexisting immunity to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus in persons in Taiwan. A total of 18 (36%) of 50 elderly adults in Taiwan born before 1935 had protective antibodies against currently circulating pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus. Seasonal influenza vaccines induced antibodies that did not protect against pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus.
Pandemic (H1N1) 2009; viruses; influenza; neutralization assay; hemagglutination inhibition assay; serologic assays; vaccine; Taiwan; dispatch
Enterovirus (EV) 71 is one of the common causative agents for hand, foot, and, mouth disease (HFMD). In recent years, the virus caused several outbreaks with high numbers of deaths and severe neurological complications. Despite the importance of these epidemics, several aspects of the evolutionary and epidemiological dynamics, including viral nucleotide variations within and between different outbreaks, rates of change in immune-related structural regions vs. non-structural regions, and forces driving the evolution of EV71, are still not clear.
We sequenced four genomic segments, i.e., the 5' untranslated region (UTR), VP1, 2A, and 3C, of 395 EV71 viral strains collected from 1998 to 2003 in Taiwan. The phylogenies derived from different genomic segments revealed different relationships, indicating frequent sequence recombinations as previously noted. In addition to simple recombinations, exchanges of the P1 domain between different species/genotypes of human enterovirus species (HEV)-A were repeatedly observed. Contrasting patterns of polymorphisms and divergences were found between structural (VP1) and non-structural segments (2A and 3C), i.e., the former was less polymorphic within an outbreak but more divergent between different HEV-A species than the latter two. Our computer simulation demonstrated a significant excess of amino acid replacements in the VP1 region implying its possible role in adaptive evolution. Between different epidemic seasons, we observed high viral diversity in the epidemic peaks followed by severe reductions in diversity. Viruses sampled in successive epidemic seasons were not sister to each other, indicating that the annual outbreaks of EV71 were due to genetically distinct lineages.
Based on observations of accelerated amino acid changes and frequent exchanges of the P1 domain, we propose that positive selection and subsequent frequent domain shuffling are two important mechanisms for generating new genotypes of HEV-A. Our viral dynamics analysis suggested that the importation of EV71 from surrounding areas likely contributes to local EV71 outbreaks.
A 73-day-old female infant presented with cough and fever. A chest roentgenogram showed a pneumonic patch, but empirical antibiotic treatment failed. The pathology of an excisional biopsy specimen confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis. We emphasize that tuberculosis should be considered for neonates or infants with unresponsive pneumonia because delayed diagnosis is associated with a fatal outcome.
Based on nucleotide sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the partial VP6 genes, group A rotaviruses can be mainly differentiated into two genogroups. In this study, a method employing reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and degenerate primers was established to assign the VP6 genogroup. VP6 genogroup I and genogroup II could be determined according to the sizes of the amplicons: 380 and 780 bp, respectively. The VP6 genogroup of human reference strains of G1 to G4 and G9 types and RotaTeq vaccine strains could be properly assigned by RT-PCR. Eighty rotavirus-positive fecal samples were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), RT-PCR, and sequencing of the partial VP6 gene for subgroup and genogroup determination. The results correlated well among these three methods, except for seven samples whose subgroups could not be determined by ELISA. VP6 genogroups of another 150 rotavirus strains recovered between 1981 and 2005 were determined by RT-PCR and sequencing, and the same results were obtained by these two methods. Furthermore, an additional 524 rotavirus-positive fecal samples were tested by RT-PCR, and the VP6 genogroups could be easily determined. The RT-PCR assay developed here provided a reliable and convenient method for assigning the VP6 genogroups of human rotaviruses with a wide range of genetic variation.
This study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of 364 Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates and studied the genotypes of S. pneumoniae with high level β-lactam resistance in Taiwan. Clonal complexes related to Spain23F-1, Taiwan19F-14, and Taiwan23F-15 were responsible for the spread of isolates with high β-lactam resistance.
Analysis of data from Taiwan’s National Tuberculosis (TB) Registry showed that incidence of TB in persons <20 years of age was 9.61/100,000 person-years, biphasic, and age-relevant, with a major peak in persons slightly >12 years. Aboriginal children were 8.1–17.4× more likely to have TB than non-Aboriginal children.
children; tuberculosis; extrapulmonary; Taiwan; BCG; dispatch
Since the mid-1990s, novel G9 rotaviruses have been detected in many countries, suggesting that G9 is a globally important serotype. The molecular epidemiology of G9 rotaviruses in Taiwan from 2000 to 2002 was investigated in this study. G9 rotavirus first appeared in 2000 with 4 cases and constituted 33.8% and 54.8% of the rotavirus-positive samples in 2001 and 2002, respectively. These G9 strains belonged to PG9, subgroup II, and long electropherotype, except one belonged to PG9, subgroup II, and short electropherotype. Nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 52 Taiwanese G9 rotaviruses showed that the VP7 genes shared a high degree of identity to overseas G9 rotaviruses detected after 1993 and that the VP8* portions of the VP4 genes were more closely related to those of local rotaviruses of other G types. The two PG9 strains with high nucleotide identities in the VP7 and the partial VP4 genes, 01TW591 of Taiwan from 2001 and 95H115 of Japan from 1995, varied in four genes, genes 2, 3, 7, and 8, which was revealed by RNA-RNA hybridization. Representative strains for different RNA patterns were also analyzed in the partial VP2 and VP3 genes; the nucleotide identities were high between Taiwanese G9 strains and local G3 or G2 strains. These results suggested that Taiwanese G9 rotaviruses possibly had evolved through reassortment between overseas G9 strains and circulating rotaviruses of other G types.
The serum antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus of 18 SARS patients were checked at 1 month and every 3 months after disease onset. All of them except one, who missed blood sampling at 1 month, tested positive for the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody at 1 month. Fifteen out of 17 tested positive for the IgM antibody at 1 month. The serum IgM antibody of most patients became undetectable within 6 months after the onset of SARS. The IgG antibody of all 17 patients, whose serum was checked 1 year after disease onset, remained positive.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 viral protein R (Vpr) is required for viral pathogenesis and has been implicated in T-cell apoptosis through its activation of caspase 3 and caspase 9 and perturbation of mitochondrial membrane potential. To understand better Vpr-mitochondria interaction, we report here the identification of antiapoptotic mitochondrial protein HAX-1 as a novel Vpr target. We show that Vpr and HAX-1 physically associate with each other. Overexpression of Vpr in cells dislocates HAX-1 from its normal residence in mitochondria and creates mitochondrion instability and cell death. Conversely, overexpression of HAX-1 suppressed the proapoptotic activity of Vpr.
An antigen detection assay for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus was established in this study by an indirect immunofluorescence test, which utilized cells derived from throat wash samples of patients with SARS and a rabbit serum that recognized the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) but not that of other human coronavirus tested. It detected SARS-CoV in 11 of 17 (65%) samples from SARS patients as early as day 2 of illness but in none of the 10 samples from healthy controls. Compared with other diagnostic modalities for detecting SARS-CoV, this assay is simpler, more convenient, and economical. It could be an alternative for early and rapid diagnosis, should SARS return in the future.
Early detection of SARS-CoV in throat wash and saliva suggests that these specimens are ideal for SARS diagnosis.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome–associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is thought to be transmitted primarily through dispersal of droplets, but little is known about the load of SARS-CoV in oral droplets. We examined oral specimens, including throat wash and saliva, and found large amounts of SARS-CoV RNA in both throat wash (9.58 x 102 to 5.93 x 106 copies/mL) and saliva (7.08 x 103 to 6.38 x 108 copies/mL) from all specimens of 17 consecutive probable SARS case-patients, supporting the possibility of transmission through oral droplets. Immunofluorescence study showed replication of SARS-CoV in the cells derived from throat wash, demonstrating the possibility of developing a convenient antigen detection assay. This finding, with the high detection rate a median of 4 days after disease onset and before the development of lung lesions in four patients, suggests that throat wash and saliva should be included in sample collection guidelines for SARS diagnosis.
severe acute respiratory syndrome; SARS; coronavirus; CoV; Taiwan; perspective
Thirty-one cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred after exposure in the emergency room at the National Taiwan University Hospital. The index patient was linked to an outbreak at a nearby municipal hospital. Three clusters were identified over a 3-week period. The first cluster (5 patients) and the second cluster (14 patients) occurred among patients, family members, and nursing aids. The third cluster (12 patients) occurred exclusively among healthcare workers. Six healthcare workers had close contact with SARS patients. Six others, with different working patterns, indicated that they did not have contact with a SARS patient. Environmental surveys found 9 of 119 samples of inanimate objects to be positive for SARS coronavirus RNA. These observations indicate that although transmission by direct contact with known SARS patients was responsible for most cases, environmental contamination with the SARS coronavirus may have lead to infection among healthcare workers without documented contact with known hospitalized SARS patients.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome; healthcare workers; environmental contamination; real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction
An increasing number of clinical isolations of rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) at the National Taiwan University Hospital were noted from 1992 to 2001. Broth microdilution MICs of 15 antimicrobial agents were determined for 200 clinical isolates of RGM, including the Mycobacterium fortuitum group (69 isolates), M. chelonae (39 isolates), and M. abscessus (92 isolates). Our results showed that the resistance rates of these isolates to the currently available agents were remarkably high. Amikacin was active against nearly all RGM isolates. Clarithromycin was usually active against M. abscessus (79% susceptibility) and the M. fortuitum group (65% susceptibility). The majority of M. fortuitum group isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin (62%) and imipenem (61%). The susceptibilities to other conventional anti-RGM agents of these isolates were poor but differed markedly by species. The newer fluoroquinolones (levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, and gatifloxacin) and meropenem showed better in vitro activities against the M. fortuitum group isolates than against the other two species of RGM. Linezolid had fairly good activity against these RGM isolates, particularly against M. chelonae isolates (82% susceptible). Telithromycin had poor activity against these RGM isolates (the MICs at which 50% of the isolates tested are inhibited [MIC50s] were 32 to 64 μg/ml, and the MIC90s were >64 μg/ml).
Two isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae having different optochin susceptibilities were recovered from a blood sample of a 2-year-old boy with community-acquired pneumonia. The two isolates were documented to belong to a single clone on the basis of the isolates' identical serotype (23F), antibiograms by the E-test, random amplified polymorphic DNA patterns generated by arbitrarily primed PCR, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and restriction fragment length polymorphism of the penicillin-binding protein genes pbp2b and pbp2x.