We designed a case-control study to determine the plasma homocysteine (Hcy) level and evaluate the potential role of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism in colorectal cancer (CRC). Total Hcy was quantified using the fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA) on the IMx analyzer. Genomic DNA was analyzed by the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The plasma levels of Hcy in the CRC group (12.63±3.11 μmol/l) were significantly higher compared with those in the control group (10.87±2.42 μmol/l; P<0.05). The frequency of the MTHFR 677TT genotype in CRC patients was markedly high. The MTHFR 677TT genotype was significantly correlated with an increased risk of CRC (odds ratio, 1.671; 95% confidence interval, 1.094–2.553; P=0.018). This study suggests that the MTHFR C677T polymorphism indicates susceptibility to CRC and is correlated with CRC pathogenesis, suggesting that the homozygous variant MTHFR C677T polymorphism is a candidate risk factor for CRC.
methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; polymorphism; homocysteine; colorectal cancer
Background and Objectives
Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (APDT) employs a nontoxic photosensitizer (PS) and visible light, which in the presence of oxygen produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as singlet oxygen (1O2, produced via Type II mechanism) and hydroxyl radical (HO•, produced via Type I mechanism). This study examined the relative contributions of 1O2 and HO• to APDT killing of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
Fluorescence probes, 3'-(p-hydroxyphenyl)-fluorescein (HPF) and singlet oxygen sensor green reagent (SOSG) were used to determine HO• and 1O2 produced by illumination of two PS: tris-cationic-buckminsterfullerene (BB6) and a conjugate between polyethylenimine and chlorin(e6) (PEI–ce6). Dimethylthiourea is a HO• scavenger, while sodium azide (NaN3) is a quencher of 1O2. Both APDT and killing by Fenton reaction (chemical generation of HO•) were carried out on Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Enteroccoccus fecalis) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Conjugate PEI-ce6 mainly produced 1O2 (quenched by NaN3), while BB6 produced HO• in addition to 1O2 when NaN3 potentiated probe activation. NaN3 also potentiated HPF activation by Fenton reagent. All bacteria were killed by Fenton reagent but Gram-positive bacteria needed a higher concentration than Gram-negatives. NaN3 potentiated Fenton-mediated killing of all bacteria. The ratio of APDT killing between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was 2 or 4:1 for BB6 and 25:1 for conjugate PEI-ce6. There was a NaN3 dose dependent inhibition of APDT killing using both PEI-ce6 and BB6 against Gram-negative bacteria while NaN3 almost failed to inhibit killing of Gram-positive bacteria.
Azidyl radicals may be formed from NaN3 and HO•. It may be that Gram-negative bacteria are more susceptible to HO• while Gram-positive bacteria are more susceptible to 1O2. The differences in NaN3 inhibition may reflect differences in the extent of PS binding to bacteria (microenvironment) or differences in penetration of NaN3 into cell walls of bacteria.
antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation; singlet oxygen; hydroxyl radical; sodium azide; Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria; antimicrobial photodynamic therapy; polyethylenimine chlorin(e6) conjugate; tris-cationic fullerene; singlet oxygen; hydroxyl radical; sodium azide
The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical factors affecting on the cure rate by invasive and open surgery for gastric cancer and to establish a subgroup of patients who can be applied by the early recovery after surgery program through this retrospective analysis.
Materials and Methods
In this retrospective study, we analyzed 425 patients who underwent gastric cancer surgery between January 2011 and December 2011 and were managed with conventional clinical therapies. This clinical algorithm was made when the patient was in minimally invasive surgery group and discharged from hospital one day faster than them in open surgery group.
The completion rate of the clinical pathway was 62.4%. Despite the different applications of clinical pathway, completion rate in minimally invasive surgery group was significantly higher than that of open group (P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, the surgical procedure of minimally invasive surgery (odds ratio=4.281) was the most predictable factor to complete clinical pathway. Additionally, younger patients (odds ratio=1.933) who underwent distal gastrectomy (odds ratio=1.999) without combined resection (odds ratio=3.069) were predicted to accomplish the clinical pathway without any modifications.
We concluded that high efficacy of the clinical pathway for gastric cancer surgery was expected to selected patients through retrospective analysis (expected completion rate=85.4%). In addition, these patients would become enrolled criteria for early recovery program in gastric cancer surgery.
Stomach neoplasms; Critical pathways; Gastrectomy; Minimally invasive
As previously reported, gerP Bacillus subtilis spores were defective in nutrient germination triggered via various germinant receptors (GRs), and the defect was eliminated by severe spore coat defects. The gerP spores' GR-dependent germination had a longer lag time between addition of germinants and initiation of rapid release of spores' dipicolinic acid (DPA), but times for release of >90% of DPA from individual spores were identical for wild-type and gerP spores. The gerP spores were also defective in GR-independent germination by DPA with its associated Ca2+ divalent cation (CaDPA) but germinated better than wild-type spores with the GR-independent germinant dodecylamine. The gerP spores exhibited no increased sensitivity to hypochlorite, suggesting that these spores have no significant coat defect. Overexpression of GRs in gerP spores did lead to faster germination via the overexpressed GR, but this was still slower than germination of comparable gerP+ spores. Unlike wild-type spores, for which maximal nutrient germinant concentrations were between 500 μM and 2 mM for l-alanine and ≤10 mM for l-valine, rates of gerP spore germination increased up to between 200 mM and 1 M l-alanine and 100 mM l-valine, and at 1 M l-alanine, the rates of germination of wild-type and gerP spores with or without all alanine racemases were almost identical. A high pressure of 150 MPa that triggers spore germination by activating GRs also triggered germination of wild-type and gerP spores identically. All these results support the suggestion that GerP proteins facilitate access of nutrient germinants to their cognate GRs in spores' inner membrane.
Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) has been clinically applied around the world for a spectrum of disorders requiring healing, regeneration and prevention of tissue death. One area that is attracting growing interest in this scope is the use of transcranial LLLT to treat stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). We developed a mouse model of severe TBI induced by controlled cortical impact and explored the effect of different treatment schedules. Adult male BALB/c mice were divided into 3 broad groups (a) sham-TBI sham-treatment, (b) real-TBI sham-treatment, and (c) real-TBI active-treatment. Mice received active-treatment (transcranial LLLT by continuous wave 810 nm laser, 25 mW/cm2, 18 J/cm2, spot diameter 1 cm) while sham-treatment was immobilization only, delivered either as a single treatment at 4 hours post TBI, as 3 daily treatments commencing at 4 hours post TBI or as 14 daily treatments. Mice were sacrificed at 0, 4, 7, 14 and 28 days post-TBI for histology or histomorphometry, and injected with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) at days 21–27 to allow identification of proliferating cells. Mice with severe TBI treated with 1-laser Tx (and to a greater extent 3-laser Tx) had significant improvements in neurological severity score (NSS), and wire-grip and motion test (WGMT). However 14-laser Tx provided no benefit over TBI-sham control. Mice receiving 1- and 3-laser Tx had smaller lesion size at 28-days (although the size increased over 4 weeks in all TBI-groups) and less Fluoro-Jade staining for degenerating neurons (at 14 days) than in TBI control and 14-laser Tx groups. There were more BrdU-positive cells in the lesion in 1- and 3-laser groups suggesting LLLT may increase neurogenesis. Transcranial NIR laser may provide benefit in cases of acute TBI provided the optimum treatment regimen is employed.
In contrast to mitochondria in healthy cells, which utilize oxidative phosphorylation, malignant cells undergo elevated glycolysis for energy production using glucose. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether the expression of various molecules, including pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-1 (PDK-1), is involved in the altered glucose metabolism associated with gastric cancer prognosis and to assess the role of a therapeutic agent in targeting glucose metabolism in gastric cancer. Immunohistochemistry was performed on gastric cancer tissues obtained from 152 patients who underwent curative resection to assess the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1), hexokinase-2 (HK-2) and PDK-1. In an in vitro analysis, the lactate production and glucose uptake levels, cellular viability and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) responses were evaluated before and after treatment with dichloroacetate (DCA), a PDK-1 inhibitor, in the MKN45 and AGS gastric cancer cell lines and in the non-cancerous HEK293 cell line. GLUT-1 and PDK-1 expression was significantly associated with tumor progression, although only PDK-1 expression was an independent prognostic factor for patients who received 5-FU adjuvant treatment. There was no significant difference in cell viability between the HEK293 and gastric cancer cell lines following DCA treatment. However, DCA treatment reduced lactate production and increased responsiveness to 5-FU in MKN45 cells, which expressed high levels of PDK-1 in comparison to the other cell lines. Thus, PDK-1 may serve as a biomarker of poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer. In addition, PDK-1 inhibitors such as DCA may be considered an additional treatment option for patients with PDK-1-expressing gastric cancers.
gastric neoplasm; chemotherapy; pyruvate dehydrogenase; prognosis
The goal of this study was to assess the correlation between the Helicobacter pylori status of patients who underwent curative resection for gastric adenocarcinoma and their prognosis in Eastern societies where H. pylori infection is prevalent.
Between 2006 and 2007, 192 patients who had a curative resection for the treatment of gastric adenocarcinoma were enrolled in the study. Of these patients, 18 were excluded due to an inexact evaluation of the H. pylori status, thereby leaving 174 patients in the final analysis. Serologic testing for H. pylori was assessed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit for immunoglobulin G, and the histological presence of H. pylori was identified using the Giemsa stain.
Of the 174 patients, 111 patients (63.8%) were confirmed for H. pylori infection. H. pylori status did not correlate with the overall or disease-free survival. For patients with stage III or IV gastric cancer, a positive H. pylori status was a significant predictive factor for recurrence over that of a negative H. pylori status (P = 0.019). Negative H. pylori status was a predictive factor for recurrence in multivariable analysis (relative risk, 2.724; 95 confidence interval, 1.192 to 6.228).
Helicobacter pylori status did not correlate with the clinicopathologic factors of gastric adenocarcinoma. However, a negative Helicobacter pylori status may be a predictive factor for recurrence in patients diagnosed with advanced gastric adenocarcinoma.
Helicobacter pylori; Stomach neoplasm; Prognosis; Survival
Background and Objectives
Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (APDT) is a novel technique to treat local infections. Previously we reported that the attachment of chlorin(e6) to polyethylenimine (PEI) polymers to form PEI-ce6 conjugates is an effective way to improve ce6 PDT activity against bacteria. The aim of this work was to explore how the polymer molecular weight, substitution ratio (SR) of ce6 and pH value affect the PDT efficacy.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
We have synthesized PEI-ce6(10) (MW = 60,000, SR = 1) and PEI-ce6(11) (MW = 60,000, SR = 5) and compared these with the previous PEI-ce6(9) (MW = 10,000, SR = 1). We tested the PDT efficacy of these three conjugates against Gram-negative E. coli and Gram-positive bacteria (S. aureus and E. fecalis) at three different pH values (5.0, 7.4, 10.0) that may affect the charge on both the bacterial cells and on the conjugate (that has both basic and acidic groups).
PEI-ce6(9) and PEI-ce6(10) were the most effective against these tested bacteria. The PDT effect of all three conjugates depended on pH values. The effective order was pH = 10.0 > pH = 7.4 > pH = 5.0 on E. coli. For S. aureus and E. fecalis the order was pH = 5.0 > pH = 10.0 > pH = 7.4. PEI-ce6(11) PDT activity was worse than PEI-ce6(10) activity which is probably connected to the fact that ce6 molecules are self-quenched within the PEI-ce6(11) molecule. Ce6 quenching within the PEI-ce6 molecules was proved by analyzing fluorescence spectra of PEI-ce6 conjugates at different pH values. There were no differences in bacterial uptake between different pH values in three PEI-ce6 conjugates.
We assume high pH (rather than low pH as was hypothesized) disaggregates the conjugates, so the higher pH was more effective than the lower pH against E. coli. But for Gram-positive bacteria, low pH was more effective possibly due to more overall positive charge on the conjugate. Lasers Surg. Med. 43:313–323, 2011.
antimicrobial photodynamic therapy; polyethylenimine–chlorine(e6) conjugate; pH value; polymer molecular weight; substitution ratio; static and dynamic quenching
Laparoscopic gastrectomy is a widely accepted surgical technique. Recently, robotic gastrectomy has been developed, as an alternative minimally invasive surgical technique. This study aimed to evaluate the question of whether robotic gastrectomy is feasible and safe for the treatment of gastric cancer, due to its learning curve.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the prospectively collected data of 100 consecutive robotic gastrectomy patients, from November 2008 to March 2011, and compared them to 282 conventional laparoscopy patients during the same period. The robotic gastrectomy patients were divided into 20 initial cases; and all subsequent cases; and we compared the clinicopathological features, operating times, and surgical outcomes between the three groups.
The initial 20 robotic gastrectomy cases were defined as the initial group, due to the learning curve. The initial group had a longer average operating time (242.25±74.54 minutes vs. 192.56±39.56 minutes, P>0.001), and hospital stay (14.40±24.93 days vs. 8.66±5.39 days, P=0.001) than the experienced group. The length of hospital stay was no different between the experienced group, and the laproscopic gastrectomy group (8.66±5.39 days vs. 8.11±4.10 days, P=0.001). The average blood loss was significantly less for the robotic gastrectomy groups, than for the laparoscopic gastrectomy group (93.25±84.59 ml vs. 173.45±145.19 ml, P<0.001), but the complication rates were no different.
Our study shows that robotic gastrectomy is a safe and feasible procedure, especially after the 20 initial cases, and provides a satisfactory postoperative outcome.
Robotic; Laparoscopy; Compared; Gastrectomy; Learning curve
Chitosan and nanoparticle silver are both materials with demonstrated antimicrobial properties and have been proposed singly or in combination as constituents of antimicrobial burn dressings. Here, we show that they combine synergistically to inhibit the in vitro growth of Gram-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, and Acinetobacter baumannii), as judged by bioluminescence monitoring and isobolographic analysis, and also produce synergistic killing after 30 min of incubation, as measured by a CFU assay. The hypothesized explanation involves chitosan-mediated permeabilization of bacterial cells, allowing better penetration of silver ions into the cell. A dressing composed of freeze-dried chitosan acetate incorporating nanoparticle silver was compared with a dressing of chitosan acetate alone in an in vivo burn model infected with bioluminescent P. aeruginosa. The survival rates of mice treated with silver-chitosan or regular chitosan or left untreated were 64.3% (P = 0.0082 versus regular chitosan and P = 0.0003 versus the control), 21.4%, and 0%, respectively. Most of the fatalities occurred between 2 and 5 days postinfection. Silver-chitosan dressings effectively controlled the development of systemic sepsis, as shown by blood culture. These data suggest that a dressing combining chitosan acetate with silver leads to improved antimicrobial efficacy against fatal burn infections.
The Roux en Y method has rarely been performed due to longer operation time and high risk of complication, despite several merits including prevention of bile reflux. We conducted a retrospective review of the result of Roux en Y reconstruction using two circular staplers after subtotal gastrectomy.
Materials and Methods
From December 2008 to May 2009, a total of 26 patients underwent Roux en Y reconstruction using two circular staplers after subtotal gastrectomy, and seventy-two patients underwent Billroth-I reconstruction. Roux en Y anastomosis was performed using two circular staplers without hand sewing anastomosis. We compared clinicopathologic features and surgical outcomes between the two groups. All patients underwent gastrofiberscopy between six and twelve months after surgery to compare the bile reflux.
No significant differences in clinicopathologic findings were observed between the two groups, except for the rate of minimal invasive surgery (P=0.004) and cancer stage (P=0.002). No differences in the rate of morbidity (P=0.353) and admission duration (P=0.391) were observed between the two groups. Gastrofiberscopic findings showed a significant reduction of bile reflux in the remnant stomach in the Roux en Y group (P=0.019).
When compared with Billroth-I reconstruction, Roux en Y reconstruction using the double stapler technique was found to reduce bile reflux in the remnant stomach without increasing postoperative morbidity. Based on these results, we planned to begin a randomized controlled clinical trial for comparison of Roux en Y reconstruction using this method with Billroth-I anastomosis.
Stomach neoplasms; Gastrectomy; Reconstructive surgical procedure
Background and Methods
To understand the burden and epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae disease among children between 1 and 59 months of age in China, we conducted a review of literature published between 1980 and 2008 applying standardized algorithms. Because of the absence of population-based surveillance for pneumococcal disease (PD), we identified all-cause pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis burden, syndromes most commonly associated with S. pneumoniae, and applied the proportion of disease attributable to S. pneumoniae from studies that determined the etiology of these three syndromes to calculate PD burden. Because of the microbiologic difficulties in identifying S. pneumoniae–attributable pneumonia which likely underestimates the pneumonia burden, we also used the proportion obtained from vaccine efficacy trials.
Between 1980 and 2008, there were 12,815 cases/100,000/year of all-cause pneumonia among children between 1 month and 59 months, with 526 deaths/100,000 annually. There were 14 meningitis cases/100,000/year. We estimate that as of 2000, there were 260,768 (113,000 to 582,382) and 902 (114–4,463) cases of pneumococcal pneumonia and meningitis, respectively with 10,703 (4,638–23,904) and 75 (9–370) pneumococcal pneumonia and meningitis deaths, respectively. Pneumococcal pneumonia cases and deaths were more than two-fold higher, 695,382 (173,845–1,216,918) and 28,542 (7,136–49,949), respectively, when parameters from efficacy trials were used. Serotypes 19F, 19A and 14 were the most common serotypes obtained from pneumonia/meningitis patients. Currently available vaccines are expected to cover 79.5% to 88.4% of the prevalent serotypes. With high antibiotic resistance, introducing pneumococcal vaccines to the routine immunization program should be considered in China. Population-based studies are warranted.
Incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is high. antireflux surgery with specific indications could be an option. Nissen fundoplication is the most popular surgical procedure for GERD, and recent results using laparoscopy have reported excellent short- and mid-term results. Regarding surgical outcome of antireflux surgery, the rate of complications has been reported as below 2.4%, but rare cases still require reoperation.
PRESENTATION OF CASE
A 53-year old male patient underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication three years ago owing to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) troubled by dysphagia and heartburn However, despite undergoing surgery, his symptoms did not show improvement .A robotic redo fundoplication was planned. The patient recovered uneventfully, and the esophagography on postoperative day four revealed improvement of previous upward contrast reflux and distension of the distal esophagus during swallowing had disappeared. Dysphagia and heartburn had still not occurred at one year follow-up.
Redo antireflux surgery for postoperative stricture is not an easy procedure due to postoperative adhesion and anatomical change. Robotic surgery may be more helpful for precise dissection of the adhesion site by a previous operation and robotic suturing for re-fundoplication was more effective.
Re-do fundoplication using a robot, which is a complicated procedure compared with primary anti-reflux surgery would be a general procedure in the near future.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Redo fundoplication; Robotic surgery
This study investigated the effect of isoflurane pre-treatment on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB)-related lung injury.
Twelve dogs were randomly divided into two groups of six each. In one group, 1.0 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane was administered for 30 min before CPB, while the control group received no anaesthetic. Both groups then underwent 100 min of mild hypothermic CPB with 60-min aortic cross clamping. Haemodynamic parameters, respiratory mechanics and alveolar arterial oxygen difference (AaDO2) were measured during the experiment. One hundred and fifty minutes after CPB, lung tissue samples from the non-dependent and dependent portions of the left and right lungs were harvested for polymorphonulear leukocyte (PMNs) counts.
Following CPB, within the control group, pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) was significantly increased at 60, 120 and 180 min after declamping, AaDO2 deteriorated at 180 min post-declamping, and dynamic lung compliance (DLC) was reduced dramatically after declamping. Isoflurane pre-treatment before CPB significantly reduced PVR compared to the controls. AaDO2 was impaired at 180 min after declamping and DLC was decreased after declamping within the isoflurane group. No differences in AaDO2 and DLC were found between the isoflurane and control groups. At 180 min after declamping, the PMN count in both the non-dependent and dependent regions of the isoflurane pre-treated lungs was significantly lower than that of the controls.
Our results suggest that 30-min pre-treatment with 1.0 MAC isoflurane before CPB caused a reduction in PMN accumulation in the dog lungs, inhibition of increases in PVR, and it did not affect AaDO2 in the early post-CPB stage.
cardiopulmonary bypass; lung injury; isoflurane; dog
To help understand the potential impact of bacterial coinfection during pandemic influenza periods, we undertook a far-reaching review of the existing literature to gain insights into the interaction of influenza and bacterial pathogens. Reports published between 1950 and 2006 were identified from scientific citation databases using standardized search terms. Study outcomes related to coinfection were subjected to a pooled analysis. Coinfection with influenza and bacterial pathogens occurred more frequently in pandemic compared with seasonal influenza periods. The most common bacterial coinfections with influenza virus were due to S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, Staphylococcus spp., and Streptococcus spp. Of these, S. pneumoniae was the most common cause of bacterial coinfection with influenza and accounted for 40.8% and 16.6% of bacterial coinfections during pandemic and seasonal periods, respectively. These results suggest that bacterial pathogens will play a key role in many countries, as the H1N1(A) influenza pandemic moves forward. Given the role of bacterial coinfections during influenza epidemics and pandemics, the conduct of well-designed field evaluations of public health measures to reduce the burden of these common bacterial pathogens and influenza in at-risk populations is warranted.
A tCaM3 is a key factor in heat shock (HS) signal transduction. Nitric oxide (NO) is believed to mediate a variety of resistant reactions against environmental factors. Our experiments indicate that under heat stress NO induces thermotolerance. In order to do so, NO is signal molecule acting upstream of AtCaM3, stimulating the DNA-binding activity of HS transcription factors as well as the accumulation of heat shock proteins. As a novel HS signaling molecule, NO signal pathway is little known and several unexpected results are emerging. Herein we are discussing them and conclude that in order to obtain a more profound understanding of this new role of NO, detailed research will be needed in the future.
Arabidopsis thaliana; nitric oxide; thermotolerance; heat shock protein
Bacteriophage phi29 virus nanoparticles and its associated DNA packaging nanomotor can provide for novel possibilities towards the development of hybrid bio-nano structures. Towards the goal of interfacing the phi29 viruses and nanomotors with artificial micro and nano-structures, we fabricated nanoporous Anodic Aluminum Oxide (AAO) membranes with pore size of 70 nm and shrunk the pores to sub 40 nm diameter using atomic layer deposition (ALD) of Aluminum Oxide. We were able to capture and align particles in the anodized nanopores using two methods. Firstly, a functionalization and polishing process to chemically attach the particles in the inner surface of the pores was developed. Secondly, centrifugation of the particles was utilized to align them in the pores of the nanoporous membranes. In addition, when a mixture of empty capsids and packaged particles was centrifuged at specific speeds, it was found that the empty capsids deform and pass through 40 nm diameter pores whereas the particles packaged with DNA were mainly retained at the top surface of the nanoporous membranes. Fluorescence microscopy was used to verify the selective filtration of empty capsids through the nanoporous membranes.
phi29; Nanoporous membrane; Atomic layer deposition; Alignment; Capture
The safety of the immune complexes composed of yeast-derived hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies (abbreviated as YIC) among healthy adults and chronic hepatitis B patients has been proved in phase I and phase IIa trial. A larger number of patients for study of dosage and efficacy are therefore needed.
Methods and Principal Findings
Two hundred forty two HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B patients were immunized with six injections of either 30 µg YIC, 60 µg of YIC or alum adjuvant as placebo at four-week intervals under code. HBV markers and HBV DNA were monitored during immunization and 24 weeks after the completion of immunization. The primary endpoint was defined as loss of HBeAg, or presence of anti-HBe antibody or suppression of HBV DNA, while the secondary endpoint was both HBeAg seroconversion and suppression of HBV DNA. Statistical significance was not reached in primary endpoints four weeks after the end of treatment among three groups, however, at the end of follow-up, HBeAg sero-conversion rate was 21.8%(17/78) and 9% (7/78) in the 60 µg YIC and placebo groups respectively (p = 0.03), with 95% confidence intervals at 1.5% to 24.1%. Using generalized estimating equations (GEEs) model, a significant difference of group effects was found between 60 µg YIC and the placebo groups in terms of the primary endpoint. Eleven serious adverse events occurred, which were 5.1%, 3.6%, and 5.0% in the placebo, 30 µg YIC and 60 µg YIC groups respectively (p>0.05).
Though statistical differences in the preset primary and secondary endpoints among the three groups were not reached, a late and promising HBeAg seroconversion effect was shown in the 60 µg YIC immunized regimen. By increasing the number of patients and injections, the therapeutic efficacy of YIC in chronic hepatitis B patients will be further evaluated.
Early detection of cholera outbreaks is crucial for the implementation of the most appropriate control strategies.
The performance of an immunochromatographic dipstick test (Institute Pasteur, Paris, France) specific for Vibrio cholerae O1 was evaluated in a prospective study in Beira, Mozambique, during the 2004 cholera season (January-May). Fecal specimens were collected from 391 patients with acute watery nonbloody diarrhea and tested by dipstick and conventional culture.
The overall sensitivity and specificity of the rapid test compared to culture were 95% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 91%–99%) and 89% (95% CI: 86%–93%), respectively. After stratification by type of sample (rectal swab/bulk stool) and severity of diarrhea, the sensitivity ranged between 85% and 98% and specificity between 77% and 97%.
This one-step dipstick test performed well in the diagnosis of V. cholerae O1 in a setting with seasonal outbreaks where rapid tests are most urgently needed.
Forty-two episodes of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections were detected in Beira, Mozambique, from January to May 2004. The majority of the isolates (81%) belonged to the pandemic serovars (O3:K6 and O4:K68) of V. parahaemolyticus. The pandemic serovars were positive by group-specific PCR (GS-PCR) and a PCR specific for open reading frame ORF8 (ORF8-PCR), which are molecular markers of the pandemic clone, and were positive for tdh but negative for trh. The remaining 19% of the strains also possessed the tdh gene but were GS-PCR and ORF8-PCR negative and did not belong to the pandemic serovars. Patients with V. parahaemolyticus infection were older (mean age, 27 years) than patients infected by other diarrheal agents (mean age, 21 years). Ten percent of diarrhea patients from whom no V. parahaemolyticus was cultured were severely dehydrated, but none of the V. parahaemolyticus cases were severely dehydrated. This is the first report of the isolation of pandemic strains of V. parahaemolyticus in sub-Saharan Africa and clearly indicates that the pandemic of V. parahaemolyticus has spread into the African continent.