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1.  Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B Virus among Adults at High Risk for HIV Transmission Two Decades after Implementation of Nationwide Hepatitis B Virus Vaccination Program in Taiwan 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e90194.
Background
Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) after implementation of universal neonatal HBV vaccination and catch-up vaccination programs remains rarely investigated among the adults who were born in the vaccination era (in or after 1986) and engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors.
Materials and Methods
Between 2006 and 2012, we determined HBV surface antigen ([HBsAg), anti-HBs, and HBV core antibody (anti-HBc), hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) and rapid plasma reagin titers among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) born during 1984–1985 (Group I: 244 persons) and those born in or after 1986 (Group II: 523), and HIV-uninfected MSM (Group III: 377) and heterosexuals (Group IV: 217) born in or after 1986. Prevalence and incidence of HBV infection were estimated and multivariate analysis was performed to identify factors associated with HBsAg positivity.
Results
Compared with Group I, Groups II-IV had a significantly lower prevalence of HBsAg positivity (7.8% vs 3.7%, 2.4%, and 3.2%, respectively); and the prevalence of anti-HBc positivity was also lower for Groups III and IV (30.3% vs. 19.6%, and 18.0%, respectively), but no difference was observed between Groups I and II (30.3% vs. 26.3%). In multivariate analysis, HBsAg positivity was significantly associated with syphilis (adjusted odds ratio, 2.990; 95% confidence interval, 1.502–5.953) and anti-HCV positivity (adjusted odds ratio, 3.402; 95% confidence interval, 1.091–10.614). In subjects of Group II with all-negative HBV markers at baseline, the incidence rate of HBsAg seroconversion was 0.486 episodes per 100 person-years; and for those who received combination antiretroviral therapy containing lamivudine and/or tenofovir, none developed HBsAg seroconversion during the follow-up.
Conclusions
Among the adults who were born in or after 1986 and engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors in Taiwan, neonatal HBV vaccination and catch-up vaccination programs conferred long-term protection against HBsAg seroconversion and HBsAg positivity was associated with syphilis and anti-HCV positivity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090194
PMCID: PMC3935970  PMID: 24587275
2.  Evaluation of Macrolide Resistance and Enhanced Molecular Typing of Treponema pallidum in Patients with Syphilis in Taiwan: a Prospective Multicenter Study 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(7):2299-2304.
Studies of macrolide resistance mutations and molecular typing using the newly proposed enhanced typing system for Treponema pallidum isolates obtained from HIV-infected patients in the Asia-Pacific region are scarce. Between September 2009 and December 2011, we conducted a survey to detect T. pallidum using a PCR assay using clinical specimens from patients with syphilis at six major designated hospitals for HIV care in Taiwan. The T. pallidum strains were genotyped by following the enhanced molecular typing methodology, which analyzed the number of 60-bp repeats in the acidic repeat protein (arp) gene, T. pallidum repeat (tpr) polymorphism, and the sequence of base pairs 131 to 215 in the tp0548 open reading frame of T. pallidum. Detection of A2058G and A2059G point mutations in the T. pallidum 23S rRNA was performed with the use of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). During the 2-year study period, 211 clinical specimens were obtained from 136 patients with syphilis. T. pallidum DNA was isolated from 105 (49.8%) of the specimens, with swab specimens obtained from chancres having the highest yield rate (63.2%), followed by plasma (49.4%), serum (35.7%), and cerebrospinal fluid or vitreous fluid (18.2%) specimens. Among the 40 fully typed specimens, 11 subtypes of T. pallidum were identified. Subtype 14f/f (18 isolates) was the most common isolates, followed by 14f/c (3), 14b/c (3), and 14k/f (3). Among the isolates examined for macrolide resistance, none had the A2058G or A2059G mutation. In conclusion, we found that type 14 f/f was the most common T. pallidum strain in this multicenter study on syphilis in Taiwan and that none of the isolates exhibited 23S rRNA mutations causing resistance to macrolides.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00341-12
PMCID: PMC3405618  PMID: 22518868
3.  Structure-based discovery of highly selective phosphodiesterase-9A inhibitors and implications for inhibitor design 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2012;55(19):8549-8558.
A new series of phosphodiesterase-9 (PDE9) inhibitors that contain a scaffold of 6-amino-pyrazolopyrimidinone have been discovered by a combination of structure-based design and computational docking. This procedure significantly saved load of chemical synthesis and is an effective method for the discovery of inhibitors. The best compound 28 has an IC50 of 21 nM and 3.3 µM respectively for PDE9 and PDE5, and about three orders of magnitude of selectivity against other PDE families. The crystal structure of the PDE9 catalytic domain in complex with 28 has been determined and shows a hydrogen bond between 28 and Tyr424. This hydrogen bond may account for the 860-fold selectivity of 28 against PDE1B, in comparison with about 30-fold selectivity of BAY73-6691. Thus, our studies suggest that Tyr424, a unique residue of PDE8 and PDE9, is a potential target for improvement of selectivity of PDE9 inhibitors.
doi:10.1021/jm301189c
PMCID: PMC3469756  PMID: 22985069
4.  Amebiasis among Persons Who Sought Voluntary Counseling and Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: A Case-Control Study 
This case-control study aimed to characterize the factors associated with amebiasis, defined as presence of anti-Entamoeba histolytica antibody titers of ≧ 128 by indirect hemagglutination assay, among persons seeking voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Between April 2006 and September 2009, 57 of 4,802 persons (1.2%) seeking VCT services were seropositive for E. histolytica infection. Compared with 228 seronegative controls, case subjects were older (odds ratio [OR] for per 1-year increase, 1.098; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.036, 1.165), less likely to hold bachelor degree or higher (OR, 0.359; 95% CI, 0.152, 0.846), and were more likely to be men who have sex with men (MSM) (OR, 8.382; 95% CI, 2.050, 34.266) and have oral-anal sex (OR, 4.016; 95% CI, 1.711, 9.427) in multiple logistic regression analysis. The MSM, fecal-oral contamination, lower educational achievement, and older age were associated with increased risk for amebiasis among persons seeking VCT for HIV infection.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2011.10-0238
PMCID: PMC3005504  PMID: 21212204
5.  Cost-Effectiveness of Detection of Intestinal Amebiasis by Using Serology and Specific-Amebic-Antigen Assays among Persons with or without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(9):3077-3079.
Among 345 persons who underwent indirect hemagglutination (IHA) serological assays and assays of specific amebic antigens in their stool samples, 24 of 36 (66.7%) who were seropositive for Entamoeba histolytica had intestinal amebiasis as determined by antigen assays compared with 2 of 309 (0.2%) who were seronegative (odds ratio, 307; 95% confidence interval, 64.9 to 1,451). The estimated cost to detect a case of intestinal amebiasis by serology followed by antigen assays ($52) could be reduced by 74.3% and 69.9%, respectively, compared with the costs of the concurrent use of both assays ($202) and the antigen assays alone ($173). Our finding suggests that IHA assays followed by specific-amebic-antigen assays can be cost-effective in the diagnosis of intestinal amebiasis among persons with or without human immunodeficiency virus infection who are at risk for E. histolytica infection.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01151-08
PMCID: PMC2546747  PMID: 18596142

Results 1-5 (5)