Disseminated histoplasmosis is an emerging infection in patients with cellular immune deficiency in non-endemic countries, caused by the migration from endemic regions and the development of travels. Diagnosis can be challenging in this context because rapid diagnostic tools such as Histoplasma antigen detection or appropriate molecular tools are generally unavailable, serology is often negative in immunosuppressed patients, and isolation of the fungus from cultures often takes several weeks. Here, we report the contribution of galactomannan serum detection for the management of an HIV-infected patient with disseminated histoplasmosis.
Autosomal dominant deficiency of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is the main genetic etiology of hyper-immunoglobulin (Ig) E syndrome. We documented the molecular, cellular, and clinical features of 60 patients with heterozygous STAT3 mutations from 47 kindreds followed in France. We identified 11 known and 13 new mutations of STAT3. Low levels of interleukin (IL)-6-dependent phosphorylation and nuclear translocation (or accumulation) of STAT3 were observed in Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B lymphocytes (EBV-B cells) from all STAT3-deficient patients tested. The immunologic phenotype was characterized by high serum IgE levels (96% of the patients), memory B-cell lymphopenia (94.5%), and hypereosinophilia (80%). A low proportion of IL-17A-producing circulating T cells was found in 14 of the 15 patients tested. Mucocutaneous infections were the most frequent, typically caused by Staphylococcus aureus (all patients) and Candida albicans (85%). Up to 90% of the patients had pneumonia, mostly caused by Staph. aureus (31%) or Streptococcus pneumoniae (30%). Recurrent pneumonia was associated with secondary bronchiectasis and pneumatocele (67%), as well as secondary aspergillosis (22%). Up to 92% of the patients had dermatitis and connective tissue abnormalities, with facial dysmorphism (95%), retention of decidual teeth (65%), osteopenia (50%), and hyperextensibility (50%). Four patients developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The clinical outcome was favorable, with 56 patients, including 43 adults, still alive at the end of study (mean age, 21 yr; range, 1 mo to 46 yr). Only 4 patients died, 3 from severe bacterial infection (aged 1, 15, and 29 yr, respectively). Antibiotic prophylaxis (90% of patients), antifungal prophylaxis (50%), and IgG infusions (53%) improved patient health, as demonstrated by the large decrease in pneumonia recurrence. Overall, the prognosis of STAT3 deficiency may be considered good, provided that multiple prophylactic measures, including IgG infusions, are implemented.
Current, widely accepted guidelines for the management of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (CM) recommend amphotericin B combined with flucytosine (5-FC) for ≥2 weeks as the initial induction treatment of choice. However, access to flucytosine in Africa and Asia, where disease burden is greatest, is inadequate at present. While research into identifying effective and well-tolerated antifungal combinations that do not contain flucytosine continues, an ever-increasing body of evidence from in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies points to the benefits of flucytosine in the treatment of CM in both intravenous combinations with amphotericin B and oral combinations with high-dose fluconazole. This article provides an up-to-date review of this evidence, and the current issues and challenges regarding increasing access to this key component of combination antifungal therapy for cryptococcosis.
5-FC; cryptococcal meningitis; cryptococcal meningitis treatment guidelines; access to essential antifungals for cryptococcal meningitis; 5-FC safety; combination antifungal therapy; opportunistic infection
Fluoroquinolones are used with increasing frequency in children with a major risk of increasing the emergence of FQ resistance. FQ use has expanded off-label for primary antibacterial prophylaxis or treatment of infections in immune-compromised children and life-threatening multi-resistant bacteria infections. Here we assessed the prescriptions of ciprofloxacin in a pediatric cohort and their appropriateness.
A monocenter audit of ciprofloxacin prescription was conducted for six months in a University hospital in Paris. Infected site, bacteriological findings and indication, were evaluated in children receiving ciprofloxacin in hospital independently by 3 infectious diseases consultants and 1 hospital pharmacist.
Ninety-eight ciprofloxacin prescriptions in children, among which 52 (53.1%) were oral and 46 (46.9%) parenteral, were collected. 45 children had an underlying condition, cystic fibrosis (CF) (21) or an innate or acquired immune deficiency (24). Among CF patients, the most frequent indication was a broncho-pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection (20). In non-CF patient, the major indications were broncho-pulmonary (25), urinary (8), intra-abdominal (7), operative site infection (5) and bloodstream/catheter (2/4) infection. 62.2% were microbiologically documented. Twenty-three (23.4%) were considered “mandatory”, 48 (49.0%) “alternative” and 27 (27.6%) “unjustified”.
In our university hospital, only 23.4% of fluoroquinolones prescriptions were mandatory in children, especially in Pseudomonas aeruginosa healthcare associated infection. Looking to the ecological risk of fluoroquinolones and the increase consumption in children population we think that a control program should be developed to control FQ use in children. It could be done with the help of an antimicrobial stewardship team.
Ciprofloxacin; Children; Cystic fibrosis; Appropriate prescription
In vitro interaction of anidulafungin with voriconazole was tested by a microdilution broth checkerboard technique and an agar diffusion method against 30 Aspergillus clinical isolates belonging to five different species. By using a complete inhibition endpoint, indifferent interactions were observed for 97% of the isolates by the checkerboard technique (FIC index from 0.5 to 2) and for 100% of the isolates by the agar diffusion method (variation of −2 to +1 log2 dilutions).
Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia (ICL) is a rare immune deficiency characterized by a protracted CD4+ T cell loss of unknown etiology and by the occurrence of opportunistic infections similar to those seen in AIDS. We investigated whether a defect in responses to cytokines that control CD4+ T cell homeostasis could play a role in ICL. Immunophenotype and signaling responses to interleukin-7 (IL-7), IL-2, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) were analyzed by flow cytometry in CD4+ T cells from 15 ICL patients and 15 healthy blood donors. The induction of phospho-STAT5 after IL-7 stimulation was decreased in memory CD4+ T cells of some ICL patients, which correlated with a decreased expression of the IL-7Rα receptor chain (R = 0.74, p<0.005) and with lower CD4+ T cell counts (R = 0.69, p<0.005). IL-2 responses were also impaired, both in the Treg and conventional memory subsets. Decreased IL-2 responses correlated with decreased IL-7 responses (R = 0.75, p<0.005), pointing to combined defects that may significantly perturb CD4+ T cell homeostasis in a subset of ICL patients. Unexpectedly, responses to the IL-7-related cytokine TSLP were increased in ICL patients, while they remained barely detectable in healthy controls. TSLP responses correlated inversely with IL-7 responses (R = −0.41; p<0.05), suggesting a cross-regulation between the two cytokine systems. In conclusion, IL-7 and IL-2 signaling are impaired in ICL, which may account for the loss of CD4+ T cell homeostasis. Increased TSLP responses point to a compensatory homeostatic mechanism that may mitigate defects in γc cytokine responses.
The monitoring and prediction of treatment responses to invasive aspergillosis (IA) are difficult. We determined whether serum galactomannan index (GMI) trends early in the course of disease may be useful in predicting eventual clinical outcomes. For the subjects recruited into the multicenter Global Aspergillosis Study, serial GMIs were measured at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, and 4 following antifungal treatment. Clinical response and survival at 12 weeks were the outcome measures. GMI trends were analyzed by using the generalized estimation equation approach. GMI cutoffs were evaluated by using receiver-operating curve analyses incorporating pre- and posttest probabilities. Of the 202 study patients diagnosed with IA, 71 (35.1%) had a baseline GMI of ≥0.5. Week 1 GMI was significantly lower for the eventual responders to treatment at week 12 than for the nonresponders (GMIs of 0.62 ± 0.12 and 1.15 ± 0.22, respectively; P = 0.035). A GMI reduction of >35% between baseline and week 1 predicted a probability of a satisfactory clinical response. For IA patients with pretreatment GMIs of <0.5 (n = 131; 64.9%), GMI ought to remain low during treatment, and a rising absolute GMI to >0.5 at week 2 despite antifungal treatment heralded a poor clinical outcome. Here, every 0.1-unit increase in the GMI between baseline and week 2 increased the likelihood of an unsatisfactory clinical response by 21.6% (P = 0.018). In summary, clinical outcomes may be anticipated by charting early GMI trends during the first 2 weeks of antifungal therapy. These findings have significant implications for the management of IA.
Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum infection is rare outside disease-endemic areas. Clinical presentation and outcome of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome–related histoplasmosis are unknown in non-endemic areas with wide access to highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Retrospective analysis of cases recorded at the French National Reference Center for Mycoses and Antifungals during two decades: pre-HAART (1985–1994) and HAART (1997–2006). Clinical features and outcome of all adults with proven acquired immunodeficiency syndrome–related histoplasmosis were compared between the two periods. One hundred four patients were included (40 during the pre-HAART era and 64 during the HAART era). Diagnosis was established a mean of 62 days after onset of symptoms. One-year overall mortality rates decreased from 53% (pre-HAART era) to 22% (HAART era). Diagnosis during the pre-HAART era and an older age were the only independent factors associated with death. Histoplasmosis is a rare invasive fungal infection outside disease-endemic areas. Its prognosis improved significantly during the HAART era.
Outbreaks are spatiotemporally associated with litchi harvest, but the causative agent remains unknown.
Since the end of the 1990s, unexplained outbreaks of acute encephalitis in children coinciding with litchi harvesting (May–July) have been documented in the Bac Giang Province in northern Vietnam. A retrospective ecologic analysis of data for 2004–2009 involving environmental, agronomic, and climatic factors was conducted to investigate the suspected association between the outbreaks and litchi harvesting. The clinical, biological, and immunologic characteristics of the patients suggested a viral etiology. The ecologic study revealed an independent association between litchi plantation surface proportion and acute encephalitis incidence: Incidence rate ratios were 1.52 (95% CI 0.90–2.57), 2.94 (95% CI 1.88–4.60), and 2.76 (95% CI 1.76–4.32) for second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively, compared with the lowest quartile. This ecologic study confirmed the suspected association between incidence of acute encephalitis and litchi plantations and should be followed by other studies to identify the causative agent for this syndrome.
Encephalitis; epidemics; disease outbreaks; epidemiology; risk factors; litchi; retrospective studies; Vietnam; Asia; viruses; vector-borne infections
Role of serum cryptococcal antigen in the diagnosis and determinants of antigen positivity in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with pulmonary cryptococcosis has not been fully defined.
Study population included SOT recipients with pulmonary cryptococcosis in a prospective, multicenter study conducted between 1999 and 2006.
Cryptococcal antigen was positive in 83% (40/48) of the patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis. Patients with concomitant extrapulmonary disease were more likely to have a positive antigen (p=0.018), and antigen titers were higher in those with extrapulmonary disease (p=0.003) or fungemia (p=0.045). Patients with single nodules were less likely to have a positive antigen than those with all other radiographic presentations (p=0.053). Among patients with isolated pulmonary cryptococcosis, lung transplant recipients were less likely to have positive cryptococcal antigen than other types of SOT recipients (p=0.003). In all, 38% of the patients were asymptomatic or had pulmonary cryptococcosis detected as an incidental finding. Nodular densities or mass lesions were more likely to present as asymptomatic or incidentally detected pulmonary cryptococcosis than pleural effusions and infiltrates (p=0.008).
A positive serum cryptococcal antigen in SOT recipients with pulmonary cryptococcosis appears to reflect extrapulmonary or more advanced radiographic disease.
Cryptococcosis; pulmonary infection; transplants; C.neoformans; cryptococcal antigen
CSF analysis is often deferred in patients with cryptococcal disease, particularly in the absence of neurologic manifestations. We sought to determine if a subset of SOT recipients with high likelihood of CNS disease could be identified in whom CSF analysis must be performed.
Patients comprised a multicenter cohort of SOT recipients with cryptococcosis.
Of 129 of 146 (88%) SOT recipients with cryptococcosis who underwent CSF analysis, 80 (62%) had CNS disease. In the overall study population, abnormal mental status, time to onset of cryptococcosis >24 months post-transplantation (late-onset disease), serum cryptococcal antigen titer >1:64, and fungemia were independently associated with an increased risk of CNS disease. Of patients with abnormal mental status, 95% had CNS cryptococcosis. When only patients with normal mental status were considered, three predictors (serum antigen titer >1:64, fungemia, and late-onset disease) independently identified patients with CNS cryptococcosis; the risk of CNS disease was 14% if none, 39% if one, and 94% if two of the aforementioned predictors existed (χ2 for trend p<0.001).
CSF analysis should be strongly considered in SOT recipients with cryptococcosis who have late-onset disease, fungemia, or serum cryptococcal antigen titer >1:64 even in the presence of normal mental status.
cryptococcosis; solid organ transplant; central nervous system disease
Mastocytosis is a heterogeneous disease characterized by mast cells accumulation in one or more organs. We have reported that depression is frequent in mastocytosis, but although it was already described, little is known about the prevalence and features of cognitive impairment. Our objective was to describe the prevalence and features of cognitive impairment in a large cohort of patients with this rare disease (n = 57; mean age = 45) and to explore the relations between memory impairment and depression. Objective memory impairment was evaluated using the 3rd edition of the Clinical Memory scale of Wechsler. Depression symptoms were evaluated using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Age and education levels were controlled for all patients. Patients with mastocytosis presented high levels of cognitive impairment (memory and/or attention) (n = 22; 38.6%). Cognitive impairment was moderate in 59% of the cases, concerned immediate auditory (41%) and working memory (73%) and was not associated to depression (p≥0.717). In conclusion, immediate auditory memory and attention impairment in mastocytosis are frequent, even in young individuals, and are not consecutive to depression. In mastocytosis, cognitive complaints call for complex neuropsychological assessment. Mild-moderate cognitive impairment and depression constitute two specific but somewhat independent syndromes in mastocytosis. These results suggest differential effects of mast-cell activity in the brain, on systems involved in emotionality and in cognition.
Infections due to caspofungin-resistant Candida isolates in patients exposed to caspofungin therapy are increasing. We report here a nested case-control study which aimed at identifying factors associated with bloodstream infections caused by Candida spp. having reduced susceptibility to caspofungin (CRSC) in adults suffering from hematological malignancies. In univariate and multivariate analyses, infections with CRSC were associated with caspofungin exposure in the previous 30 days (odds ratio [OR] = 5.25; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.68–16.35) and with an age of ≤65 years (OR = 3.27; 95% CI, 1.26–8.50).
Our study analyses the main determinants of refusal or acceptance of the 2009 A/H1N1 vaccine in patients with cystic fibrosis, a high-risk population for severe flu infection, usually very compliant for seasonal flu vaccine.
We conducted a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews in 3 cystic fibrosis referral centres in Paris, France. The study included 42 patients with cystic fibrosis: 24 who refused the vaccine and 18 who were vaccinated. The two groups differed quite substantially in their perceptions of vaccine- and disease-related risks. Those who refused the vaccine were motivated mainly by the fears it aroused and did not explicitly consider the 2009 A/H1N1 flu a potentially severe disease. People who were vaccinated explained their choice, first and foremost, as intended to prevent the flu's potential consequences on respiratory cystic fibrosis disease. Moreover, they considered vaccination to be an indirect collective prevention tool. Patients who refused the vaccine mentioned multiple, contradictory information sources and did not appear to consider the recommendation of their local health care provider as predominant. On the contrary, those who were vaccinated stated that they had based their decision solely on the clear and unequivocal advice of their health care provider.
These results of our survey led us to formulate three main recommendations for improving adhesion to new pandemic vaccines. (1) it appears necessary to reinforce patient education about the disease and its specific risks, but also general population information about community immunity. (2) it is essential to disseminate a clear and effective message about the safety of novel vaccines. (3) this message should be conveyed by local health care providers, who should be involved in implementing immunization.
Germline mutations in CYBB, the human gene encoding the gp91phox subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase, impair the respiratory burst of all types of phagocytes and result in X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). We report here two kindreds in which otherwise healthy male adults developed X-linked recessive Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD) syndromes. These patients had previously unknown mutations in CYBB that resulted in an impaired respiratory burst in monocyte-derived macrophages but not in monocytes or granulocytes. The macrophage-specific functional consequences of the germline mutation resulted from cell-specific impairment in the assembly of the NADPH oxidase. This ‘experiment of nature’ indicates that CYBB is associated with MSMD and demonstrates that the respiratory burst in human macrophages is a crucial mechanism for protective immunity to tuberculous mycobacteria.
We report 20 episodes of infection caused by acquired echinocandin-resistant Candida spp. harboring diverse and new Fksp mutations. For 12 patients, initial isolates (low MIC, wild-type Fksp sequence) and subsequent isolates (after caspofungin treatment, high MIC, mutated Fksp) were genetically related.
caspofungin; echinocandins; FKS mutation; Candida albicans; Candida glabrata; Candida krusei; treatment failure; clinical isolates; genotyping; drug resistance; fungi; France
We report two cases of adenoviral meningoencephalitis in children following allogeneic stem cell transplantation. These cases showed four similarities: isolated neurological involvement, infiltrating hyperintensities next to the third ventricle on the cerebral magnetic resonance image, the absence of concomitant detectable adenoviral viremia, and a severe clinical outcome.
Mycobacterium genavense is a rare nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Human infections are mostly disseminated in the setting of the AIDS epidemic or the use of aggressive immunosuppressive treatments. M. genavense culture is fastidious, requiring supplemented media. Pulmonary involvement rarely occurs as a primary localization.
We report here two patients with pneumonia as the predominant manifestation of M. genavense infection: one kidney transplanted patient and one HIV-infected patient. Both patients were initially treated with anti-tuberculous drugs before the identification of M. genavense on sputum or broncho-alveolar lavage fluid culture. A four-drug regimen including clarithromycin and rifabutin was started. Gamma interferon has been helpful in addition to antimycobacterial treatment for one patient.
Clinicians should be aware that M. genavense could be the etiologic agent of sub-acute pneumonia mimicking tuberculosis in patients with cellular immunodeficiency status.
Depression in patients with mastocytosis is often reported but its prevalence and characteristics are not precisely described. In addition, the impact of therapies targeting mast cells proliferation, differentiation and degranulation on psychic symptoms of depression have never been investigated. Our objective was to determine the prevalence and to describe features of depression in a large cohort of mastocytosis patients (n = 288) and to investigate the therapeutic impact of the protein kinase inhibitor masitinib in depression symptoms. The description of depression was based on the analysis of a database with Hamilton scores using Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Efficacy of masitinib therapy was evaluated using non parametric Wilcoxon test for paired data within a three months period (n = 35). Our results show that patients with indolent mastocytosis present an elevated prevalence of depression (64%). Depression was moderate in 56% but severe in 8% of cases. Core symptoms (such as psychic anxiety, depressed mood, work and interests) characterized depression in mastocytosis patients. Masitinib therapy was associated with significant improvement (67% of the cases) of overall depression, with 75% of recovery cases. Global Quality of Life slightly improved after masitinib therapy and did not predicted depression improvement. In conclusion, depression is very frequent in mastocytosis patients and masitinib therapy is associated with the reduction its psychic experiences. We conclude that depression in mastocytosis may originate from processes related to mast cells activation. Masitinib could therefore be a useful treatment for mastocytosis patients with depression and anxiety symptoms.
We report two cases of invasive infections due to Geosmithia argillacea, an emerging mold, in patients with chronic granulomatous disease receiving prolonged azole antifungal prophylaxis. One patient died despite receiving a combination of four antifungals, and the other developed cerebral and medullary lesions under a combination of caspofungin, posaconazole, terbinafine, and gamma interferon.
A prospective multicenter surveillance program on yeast bloodstream infections was implemented in the Paris, France, area without restrictions on ward of hospitalization (intensive care unit, hematology, and surgery) or age (adults and children). The present analysis concerns 2,618 isolates collected over 7 years from 2,441 patients. Centralized species identification and antifungal susceptibility testing using the EUCAST methodology were performed. Almost 10% (232/2,441) of the patients had recently (≤30 days) been treated with antifungal drugs. We analyzed the effect of recent exposure to fluconazole (n = 159) or caspofungin (n = 61) on the proportions of the five major Candida species. For both drugs, preexposure was associated with a decreased prevalence of Candida albicans in favor of less drug-susceptible species (C. glabrata and C. krusei for the former and C. parapsilosis and, to a lesser extent, C. glabrata and C. krusei for the latter; P = 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the risk of being infected with an isolate with decreased susceptibility to fluconazole was independently associated with an age of ≥15 years (odds ratio [OR] = 2.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.39 to 4.31; P = 0.002) and with recent exposure to fluconazole (OR = 2.17; 95% CI = 1.51 to 3.13; P < 0.001), while the risk of being infected with an isolate with decreased susceptibility to caspofungin was independently associated with an age <15 years (OR = 2.53; 95% CI = 1.43 to 4.48; P = 0.001) and with recent exposure to caspofungin (OR = 4.79; 95% CI = 2.47 to 9.28; P < 0.001). These findings could influence future recommendations for the management of candidemia.
Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) has become a frequent and potentially severe complication after initiation of following antiretroviral therapy (ART) in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). IRIS can unmask a previously clinically silent infection, such as tuberculosis, as recently described for Mycobacterium infections. We describe a case in a patient from Côte d'Ivoire living in France in whom skin papular lesions developed after initiation of ART. These lesions were associated with microbiologically proven leprosy. Thus, latent leprosy can appear as IRIS, and leprosy-associated IRIS should be considered in HIV-infected patients from areas endemic for leprosy.
Hormographiella aspergillata, a filamentous basidiomycete, has rarely been involved in human infections. We describe 2 febrile neutropenic patients who developed a severe pulmonary infection due to H. aspergillata while receiving empirical caspofungin therapy for presumed fungal pneumonia. After introduction of liposomal amphotericin B, one patient, who had neutrophil recovery, presented a favorable outcome, while the other, who remained neutropenic throughout the course of infection, died. Resistant fungi, including basidiomycetes, may emerge during empirical treatment with caspofungin in febrile neutropenic patients. A rapid switch to any other potent antifungal should be rapidly considered in case of failure of caspofungin in this setting.
The outcomes for 73 invasive fusariosis patients treated with voriconazole were investigated. Patients with proven (n = 67) or probable (n = 6) infections were identified from the voriconazole clinical database (n = 39) and the French National Reference Center for Mycoses and Antifungals database (n = 34). Investigator-determined success was a complete or partial response. Survival was determined from day 1 of voriconazole therapy to the last day known alive. Patients were 2 to 79 years old (median, 43 years), and 66% were male. Identified Fusarium species (62%) were F. solani, F. moniliforme, F. proliferatum, and F. oxysporum. Underlying conditions analyzed included hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT; 18%), hematologic malignancy (HM; 60%), chronic immunosuppression (CI; 12%), or other condition (OC; 10%). Infection sites were brain (5%), disseminated excluding brain (67%), lungs/sinus (15%), and other (12%). Most patients (64%) were or had recently been neutropenic (<500 cells/mm3). Therapy duration was 1 to 480 days (median, 57 days), with a 47% success rate. Baseline neutropenia impacted success adversely (P ≤ 0.03). Success varied by underlying condition (HSCT, 38%; HM, 45%; CI, 44%; OC, 71%) and infection site (brain, 0%; disseminated, 45%; other, 56%; lung/sinus, 64%) (P > 0.05). Combination therapy (13 patients) was no better than treatment with voriconazole alone. Overall, 59% of the patients died (49% died of fusariosis), and 90-day survival was 42%. Site of infection influenced survival (P = 0.02). Median survival (in days) by species was as follows: F. solani, 213; F. oxysporum, 112; Fusarium spp., 101; F. proliferatum, 84; F. moniliforme, 76. We conclude that voriconazole is a therapeutic option for invasive fusariosis.
Rhinocladiella mackenziei is a recognized cause of endemic cerebral phaeohyphomycosis in the Middle East area. Surgical resection of the abscesses and posaconazole treatment have improved the ominous prognosis of this disease. We describe the case of a native Afghan woman living in France who presented with brain abscesses due to R. mackenziei.