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1.  An evaluation of butoconazole nitrate 2% site release vaginal cream (Gynazole-1) compared to fluconazole 150 mg tablets (Diflucan) in the time to relief of symptoms in patients with vulvovaginal candidiasis. 
BACKGROUND: It is estimated that as many as 13 million cases of vulvovaginal infection occur in the United States annually, the majority of which are the result of Candida albicans infection. The symptoms of vulvovaginal infections are often painful and distressing to the patient. The objective of this study was to compare the time to symptomatic relief of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) with butoconazole nitrate 2% Site Release vaginal cream (Gynazole-1) and oral fluconazole 150 mg tablets (Diflucan). METHODS: This randomized, open-label, parallel study evaluated 181 female patients with moderate to severe symptoms of VVC. Patients were randomized to single-dose therapy with either butoconazole nitrate 2% Site Release vaginal cream or fluconazole. The primary outcome measure was the time to onset of first relief of symptoms. Secondary measures included the time to overall relief of symptoms and the reinfection rate over the first 30 days following treatment. The overall safety of both products was investigated through the collection of adverse event reports. RESULTS: The median time to first relief of symptoms occurred at 17.5 h for butoconazole patients as compared to 22.9 h for fluconazole patients (p < 0.001). The time at which 75% of patients experienced first relief of symptoms was 24.5 h versus 46.3 h for butoconazole and fluconazole, respectively (p < 0.001). By 12- and 24-h post-treatment, 44.4% and 72.8% of patients in the butoconazole treatment group reported first relief of symptoms versus 29.1% and 55.7% of patients in the fluconazole group (p = 0.044 and p = 0.024 respectively). In patients experiencing first relief of symptoms within 48 h of dosing, the median time to first relief of symptoms in the butoconazole treatment group was significantly shorter at 12.9 h compared to 20.7 h for the fluconazole treatment group (p = 0.048). There were no significant differences between the two groups with respect to time to total relief of symptoms or reoccurrence of infection within 30 days of treatment. Butoconazole therapy was shown to have fewer reported adverse events, including drug-related adverse events, than fluconazole therapy. Vulvovaginal pruritis and vulvovaginal burning were the most common drug-related adverse events attributed to butoconazole. Headache, diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach and skin sensitivity were the most common drug-related adverse events attributable to fluconazole. CONCLUSIONS: Single-dose butoconazole nitrate 2% Site Release vaginal cream provides statistically significant improvement in time to first relief of symptoms in the treatment of VVC compared to fluconazole. There is no difference between these two treatments with respect to total relief of symptoms or reinfection rate. Although there was no significant difference in the incidence of adverse events judged by the investigator to be treatment-related, butoconazole treatment did result in fewer patients experiencing adverse events than fluconazole.
PMCID: PMC1784583  PMID: 16338779
2.  Periodontal disease and bacterial vaginosis increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. 
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether periodontal disease or bacterial vaginosis (BV) diagnosed before pregnancy increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. METHODS: We enrolled a total of 252 women who had discontinued contraception in order to become pregnant. The first 130 pregnant women were included in the analyses. RESULTS: Multivariate analysis showed a strong association between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcome (OR 5.5, 95% confidence interval 1.4-21.2; p = 0.014), and a borderline association between BV and adverse pregnancy outcome (OR 3.2, 95% confidence interval 0.9-10.7; p = 0.061). CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that pre-pregnancy counseling should include both oral and vaginal examinations to rule out periodontal disease and BV. This may ultimately have an impact on antenatal healthcare, and decrease the risk for adverse pregnancy outcome.
PMCID: PMC1784582  PMID: 16338781
3.  Malaria in pregnancy. 
Recently, there has been a resurgence of malaria in densely populated areas of the United States secondary to human migration from endemic areas where factors such as cessation of vector control, vector resistance to insecticides, disease resistance to drugs, environmental changes, political instability, and indifference, have played a role for malaria becoming an overwhelming infection of these tropical underdeveloped countries. It is important for health care providers of gravida to be alert of the disease and its effects on pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC1784581  PMID: 16338784
4.  Pelvic inflammatory disease during the post-partum year. 
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the occurrence of, and risk factors for, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) occurring during the post-partum year. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data for women who delivered a term infant with 5-minute Apgar score > or = 8 from 1992 through 1999 at a large urban hospital were extracted from an electronic medical record system. RESULTS: During the study period, 15 206 deliveries occurred among 12 549 women. PID was diagnosed during the post-partum year of 148 (1.0%) deliveries. In univariate analysis, young age, black race, and both pre-delivery history and post-partum diagnosis of chlamydial and gonococcal infection were associated with PID. In multivariate analysis, only young age and a positive test for gonorrhea before delivery or post-partum were independent predictors of PID. CONCLUSIONS: Pelvic inflammatory disease was diagnosed during the post-partum year in 1% of women studied. Young maternal age was an important demographic risk factor. Further investigation of post-partum STD acquisition and progression to PID is needed to determine whether women are at increased risk following delivery.
PMCID: PMC1784580  PMID: 16338778
5.  IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8 levels in gyneco-obstetric infections. 
OBJECTIVE: During pregnancy cytokines and inflammatory mediators stimulate the expression of prostaglandin, the levels of which determine the onset of labor. The aim of this work was to study interleukin IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8 levels in the vaginal discharge, serum and urine of pregnant women with genitourinary infection before and after specific treatment. One hundred and fifty-one patients were studied during the second or third trimester of their pregnancy. METHODS: The selected patients were: healthy or control group (n = 52), those with bacterial vaginosis (n = 47), those with vaginitis (n = 37), those with asymptomatic urinary infection (n = 15) and post-treatment. The level of cytokines was assayed by ELISA test. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: The IL-1beta levels in vaginal discharge were: control 103.5 +/- 24.2 pg/ml, bacterial vaginosis 1030 +/- 59.5, vaginitis 749.14 +/- 66.7l ( p < 0.0001), post-treatment 101.4 +/- 28.7. IL-6 values were similar in both control and infected groups, and there were no patients with chorioamnionitis. In vaginal discharge IL-6: control 14.2 +/- 3.9 pg/ml, bacterial vaginosis 13.2 +/- 3.8, vaginitis 13 +/- 4.2. IL-8 levels were: control 1643 +/- 130.3 pg/ml, bacterial vaginosis 2612.7 +/- 257.7, vaginitis 3437 +/- 460 (p < 0.0001), post-treatment 1693 +/- 126.6. In urine the results were: control 40.2 +/- 17 pg/ml, asymptomatic urinary infection 1200.7 +/- 375 (p < 0.0001). In patients with therapeutic success both IL-1beta and IL-8 returned to normal levels. CONCLUSIONS: Genitourinary infections induce a significant increase in IL-1beta and IL-8 levels in vaginal secretions, and IL-8 in urine as well. Both cytokines could be useful as evolutive markers of infection.
PMCID: PMC1784579  PMID: 16338780
6.  Transfer of meropenem in the ex vivo human placenta perfusion model. 
OBJECTIVES: To determine maternal-fetal transplacental passage of meropenem in the ex vivo human perfusion model. STUDY DESIGN: Term placentae (n = 6) were collected immediately after delivery. A single cotyledon was localized, perfused and stabilized with physiologic Eagles minimal essential medium containing 3% bovine albumin and heparin as described by Chalier (Chalier JC. Criteria for evaluating perfusion experiments and presentation results. Contrib Gynecol Obstet 1985; 13:32 - 39). Meropenem was added to the maternal medium in concentrations similar to maternal serum peak and trough levels, then perfused through the maternal circulation of the cotyledon. To assess transfer and accumulation, fluid aliquots from both the maternal and fetal compartments were collected over an hour at defined intervals in an open and closed system. Antipyrine 14C was added to the medium in order to calculate the transport fraction and clearance indexes. Meropenem and antipyrine 14C concentrations were determined by High-pressure Liquid Chromatography and liquid scintillation, respectively. RESULTS: Mean antipyrine transport fraction was 2.33 + 0.25. Maternal and fetal mean meropenem peak concentrations were 54.3 + 3.3 microg/ml and 2.2 + 0.18 microg/ml, respectively. Whereas, maternal and fetal mean trough concentrations were 12.7 + 1.3 microg/ml and 0.41 + 0.10 microg/ml, respectively. Mean peak clearance index was 0.077 + 0.007 and the mean trough was 0.052 + 0.015. Mean accumulation for the peak and trough concentrations of meropenem were 0.9 and 2.95 microg/ml, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Transplacental passage of meropenem was incomplete in the ex vivo human placental perfusion model. Accumulation was also noted in the fetal compartment.
PMCID: PMC1784578  PMID: 16338783
8.  Microbiology profile in women with pelvic inflammatory disease in relation to IUD use. 
OBJECTIVE: To study the microbial characteristics of patients with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and the possible impact of an intrauterine device (IUD) on the microbial environment in women presenting with PID. METHODS: Case-control study, investigating 51 women with acute PID and 50 healthy women. Endocervical specimens for microbiological investigation were obtained at gynaecological examination. RESULTS: IUD users with PID had significantly more Fusobacteria spp. and Peptostreptococcus spp. than non-IUD users with PID. The finding of combinations of several anaerobic or aerobic microbes was associated with a significantly increased risk of PID and with complicated PID. In IUD users, the combinations of several anaerobic/aerobic microbes were associated with an increased risk of PID, irrespective of duration of IUD use. Long-term IUD use appeared to be associated with an increased risk of a PID being complicated. CONCLUSION: The finding of several anaerobic or aerobic microbes appears to be associated with PID in users of IUD.
PMCID: PMC1784576  PMID: 16338777
9.  Postpartum sterilization choices made by HIV-infected women. 
OBJECTIVE: To assess if HIV-infected women made different choices for postpartum sterilization after implementation of the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocol 076 (November 1, 1994) compared to before implementation. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study in which medical records were reviewed to obtain demographic, obstetric and HIV-related data from January 1993 through December 2002. HIV-infected women who completed a pregnancy by birth or abortion were divided into two comparison groups: "Pre-076" and "Post-076". The primary outcome was sterilization by postpartum tubal ligation.Results. Forty-two women (74%) in the Pre-076 group chose sterilization compared to 139 of 310 women (45%) in the Post-076 group (unadjusted OR 3.44, 95% CI 1.83, 6.47). Seventy-one percent of women younger than 21 years of age in the Pre-076 Group chose sterilization compared with only 35% of women younger than 21 years in the Post-076 group (p = 0.0136). Similarly, 78% of primiparous women chose sterilization after their first pregnancy in the Pre-076 group, compared to 14% in the Post-076 group (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Since the implementation of PACTG 076 protocol in November 1994, fewer HIV-infected women chose postpartum sterilization. The typical woman who now chooses postpartum sterilization is less likely to be young or primiparous than those who chose sterilization before PACTG Protocol 076 implementation.
PMCID: PMC1784575  PMID: 16338782
10.  Breast milk pasteurisation in developed countries to reduce HIV transmission. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? 
BACKGROUND: Transmission of HIV through breastfeeding is well documented. The World Health Organisation advise HIV-infected women in developed countries to use alternatives to breastfeeding together with highly active antiretroviral therapy and optimal management of delivery to prevent transmission of HIV to their infant. CASE REPORT: We present the case of an HIV-infected woman electing to exclusively breastfeed for six months and applying milk pasteurisation techniques without transmission to her infant. Two paired samples of her breast milk were tested for HIV RNA prior to and after pasteurisation. The first pair of specimens reported no change in HIV RNA copy number, the second pair of specimens reported an increase in copy number. DISCUSSION: This technique, the evidence for HIV inactivation and the effects pasteurisation has on nutritional and immunological components of breast milk are discussed. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we believe there is currently insufficient data to recommend this technique either as a safe alternative to formula feeding in resource-rich countries or as a method for providing intact immunological components of breast milk to the infant.
PMCID: PMC1784574  PMID: 16338785
11.  Maternal C-reactive protein for detection of chorioamnionitis: an appraisal. 
Premature delivery is still a significant problem in obstetrics, and chorioamnionitis is an unwelcome complication. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a circulating marker of low-grade inflammation and the role of its measurement in clinical practice remains unclear for many conditions. It has been claimed that estimation of CRP is helpful in the diagnosis of chorioamnionitis, and this study aims to appraise such claims. Following review of the literature, six reports were recruited for further metanalysis, including 466 cases. The overall prevalence of chorioamnionitis was 41% (191/466). The overall diagnostic activity showed sensitivity, specificity, false-positives and false-negatives of 72.8%, 76.4%, 23.6% and 27.2%, respectively. Therefore, we can conclude that estimation of maternal CRP is not helpful in the detection of chorioamnionitis, compared with standard investigations.
PMCID: PMC1784573  PMID: 16126504
12.  Mode of action of lactocin 160, a bacteriocin from vaginal Lactobacillus rhamnosus. 
OBJECTIVES: To determine the mechanism of antimicrobial action of lactocin 160, a bacteriocin produced by the healthy vaginal strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, using an established model, with Micrococcus luteus ATCC 10420 as a test organism. METHODS: Sensitivity of M. luteus to lactocin 160 was determined by the diffusion assay. Loss of cellular ATP in the lactocin-treated cells was elucidated using a commercially available ATP determination kit (luciferin-luciferase bioluminescence assay). Luminescence intensity as a reflection of ATP quantity was determined using a luminometer. Dissipation of membrane potential (Deltapsi) was studied using fluorophore DiSC3(5) with the fluorescence spectrum sensitive to changes in Deltapsi. RESULTS: Lactocin 160 inhibited growth of M. luteus ATCC 10420 at a concentration of 5 microg/ml. There were no significant changes in the intracellular ATP level of M. luteus upon the addition of 20 microg/ml of lactocin 160. However, the extracellular ATP level increased significantly. This means that the treatment of cells with lactocin 160 resulted in an efflux of ATP from inside the cells. Therefore, a partially purified lactocin 160 preparation (16 microg /ml of the bacteriocin in the sample) killed sensitive cells and dissipated 3.12 +/- 0.36% of Deltapsi. CONCLUSION: Lactocin 160 has a mode of action typical for bacteriocins. It disturbs the cellular membrane (Deltapsi dissipation) and induces ATP efflux, most likely because of the pore formation, which is a common mechanism of action for many bacteriocins.
PMCID: PMC1784572  PMID: 16126497
13.  Commercial laboratory IgM testing for Toxoplasma gondii in pregnancy: a 20-year experience. 
OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to review the clinical utility of commercial laboratory Toxoplasmosis-specific IgM testing during pregnancy and outcomes of the gestation at our institution. METHODS: A retrospective review of all women referred for suspected acute Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy from 1984 through 2004 was performed. Women were diagnosed with suspected acute toxoplasmosis based on commercial laboratory serologic antibody testing. All women had blood sent to a recognized reference laboratory for antibody testing within 2 weeks of the commercial laboratory results. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board. Chi-square analysis were used with a significance of P < .05. RESULTS: A total of 130 women were evaluated during the study period with 116 IgM positive results from the commercial laboratories. The commercial laboratory antibodies were as follows: IgM positive with IgG negative (n = 20), IgM positive with IgG positive (n = 96), and IgM negative with IgG positive (n = 14). There was a significant reduction in the IgM positive results when comparing commercial laboratory (n = 116) with the reference laboratory results (n = 28; p < .001). Acute toxoplasmosis infection was diagnosed in 7 (5%) of the women. All cases of acute toxoplasmosis infection had a positive commercial laboratory IgM result. The false positive rate for the commercial laboratory IgM was 88.6% and the diagnostic indices were sensitivity 100%, specificity 11.4%, positive predictive value 6% and negative predictive value 100%. CONCLUSION: Commercial laboratory Toxoplasmosis-specific IgM is associated with a high false positive rate. The commercial and reference laboratory IgM results identified all cases of acute toxoplasmosis infection. Commercial laboratories reflexively obtaining reference laboratory confirmation of positive results could reduce costs associated with testing, referrals, retesting, and invasive procedures.
PMCID: PMC1784571  PMID: 16126500
14.  Surface modifying substances that reduce apparent yeast cell hydrophobicity. 
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether several topical compounds and other chemical entities are able to diminish the surface hydrophobicity of yeast cells. METHOD: Hydrophobicity of yeast cells was determined by binding styrene microspheres to the surface of untreated yeast or yeast pre-incubated with various substances with potential for cell surface modification. The degree of microsphere adherence to yeast cells was measured by flow cytometry. RESULTS: A significant reduction in cell surface hydrophobicity was observed when yeast was incubated in protein-containing media. Other compounds that effectively reduced microsphere binding were various formulations of K-Y and heparin. Divalent cations (Ca+ + , Mg+ + , Zn+ + , Cu + + ) were also potent inhibitors of microsphere adherence. It was possible to remove substances contributing to microsphere binding by chemical extraction of the yeast. Yeast having reduced microsphere binding activity also showed diminished binding of concanavalin A. CONCLUSIONS: Several commercially available compounds were able to block binding of styrene microspheres to yeast. Some of the binding activity appeared to be attributable to mannose-containing surface components. These findings have implications for formulating therapeutic products that might block yeast binding to tissues.
PMCID: PMC1784570  PMID: 16126503
15.  Gram-negative bacterial LPS induced poor uterine receptivity and implantation failure in mouse: alterations in IL-1beta expression in the preimplantation embryo and uterine horns. 
Genito-urinary tract or systemic infections of the gram-negative bacteria in pregnant women, causes abortions, preterm labor, and several other perinatal complications. LPS is the most potent antigenic component of the gram-negative bacterial cell wall and is known to modulate the expression of various proinflammatory cytokines. Here we investigate the role of the soluble form of IL-1 i.e., IL-1beta in the 'minimum dose' of LPS induced pregnancy loss in mice. Uterine cross-sections on each day of the preimplantation period of pregnancy were examined histopathologically for finding out LPS induced changes in the uterine preparation for embryo implantation. The expression of IL-1beta in the various stages of the preimplantation period of pregnancy was studied by RT-PCR in the embryos and the uterine horns of the LPS treated and normal pregnant mice. We found that LPS significantly alters the proliferation of the glandular epithelium, luminal epithelium and stroma during the preimplantation period. We also found large infiltration of macrophages into the uterine horns of the LPS treated animals. The level and pattern of IL-1beta expression in the preimplantation embryos and uterine horns were also altered in LPS treated animals. These observations indicate that LPS can alter the uterine preparation for blastocyst implantation, which could be due to the change in the IL-1beta expression in the uterine horns. However, a change in the expression pattern of IL-1beta in the preimplantation embryos underlines the significance of this molecule in LPS induced pregnancy loss or implantation failure in mouse.
PMCID: PMC1784569  PMID: 16126496
16.  Real-time PCR improves detection of Trichomonas vaginalis infection compared with culture using self-collected vaginal swabs. 
OBJECTIVE: To compare a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay with broth culture for the detection of Trichomonas vaginalis using self-collected vaginal swabs. METHODS: Self-collected vaginal swabs were obtained from adolescent and young adult African-American women participating in HIV-1 prevention programs. T. vaginalis culture was performed using the InPouch TV System. Samples for the real-time PCR assay were collected using the BDProbeTec ET Culturette Direct Dry Swab system and tested in a laboratory-developed assay which targeted a repeated sequence of the genome. Discrepant samples that were culture negative and positive in the real-time PCR assay were tested in a confirmatory PCR which targeted a different region of the T. vaginalis genome, the18S ribosomal DNA gene. RESULTS: Of the 524 specimens tested by both culture and real-time PCR, 36 were culture positive and 54 were positive in the real-time PCR assay; 16 of the 18 discrepant specimens were also positive in the confirmatory PCR assay. Using a modified gold standard of positive by culture or positive in both PCR assays, the sensitivity of the real-time PCR assay was 100% and the specificity was 99.6%, whereas culture had a sensitivity of 69.2% and a specificity of 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The real-time PCR assay was sensitive and specific for the detection of T. vaginalis DNA from self-collected vaginal swab specimens. The ability to use the BDProbeTec dry swab system for the real-time PCR testing allowed for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and T. vaginalis from a single specimen.
PMCID: PMC1784568  PMID: 16126499
17.  The efficacy and safety of a single dose of Clindesse vaginal cream versus a seven-dose regimen of Cleocin vaginal cream in patients with bacterial vaginosis. 
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a single dose of Clindesse vaginal cream is comparable in efficacy and safety to Cleocin vaginal cream administered once daily for 7 days in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. STUDY DESIGN: This multicenter, randomized, single-blind, parallel-group study enrolled 540 patients with BV infections. Treatment consisted of either a single intravaginal dose of Clindesse or 7 daily doses of Cleocin. Efficacy and safety were assessed 21-30 days after the start of treatment. The efficacy endpoints were Investigator Cure, Clinical Cure (a composite of all 4 Amsel's criteria and Investigator Cure), Nugent Cure (Nugent score < 4), and Therapeutic Cure (a composite of Clinical Cure and Nugent Cure). Resolution of individual Amsel's criteria was also evaluated. Treatment-emergent adverse events were monitored throughout the study. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in cure rates between the Clindesse and Cleocin treatment groups in Investigator Cure (P=0.702), Clinical Cure (P=0.945), Nugent Cure (P=0.788), or Therapeutic Cure (P=0.572). Results were also similar for 3 of 4 and 2 of 4 Amsel's criteria and for each individual Amsel's criterion (all P-values >0.200). Ninety-five percent confidence intervals for each endpoint were consistent with equivalence between the 2 products. There was no significant difference between the treatment groups in the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events (P=0.386). CONCLUSIONS: A single dose of Clindesse vaginal cream is equivalent in safety and efficacy to a 7-dose regimen of Cleocin vaginal cream in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. This represents a significant advance in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
PMCID: PMC1784567  PMID: 16240515
18.  Outcomes of hysterectomy in HIV-seropositive women compared to seronegative women. 
OBJECTIVE: To compare the postoperative complication rates after hysterectomy between HIV-infected patients and HIV-uninfected patients. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective study of 24 human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients who underwent hysterectomy between January 1, 2000 and April 2, 2003 at Grady Memorial Hospital. Postoperative complications rates among HIV-infected women were compared to those rates among HIV-uninfected women. Data were analyzed t-tests for continuous variables and chi-squared tests for categorical variables. RESULTS: The HIV-infected women were more likely to report smoking and recreational drug use. In addition, a higher proportion of the HIV-infected women were co-infected with hepatitis, with more than one-quarter of HIV-infected women being hepatitis B or C seropositive. Although the study was limited due to small sample size, no significant differences in complication rates were found among HIV-infected women compared with uninfected women. CONCLUSION: As HIV-infected women are living longer, healthier lives we anticipate that increased numbers of HIV-infected women will be undergoing hysterectomy for benign gynecologic conditions. It will be important, therefore, to carefully document any potential differences in operative risks.
PMCID: PMC1784566  PMID: 16126502
19.  Occurrence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in generally healthy women with exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata. 
AIM: To disclose possible association between exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in generally healthy, sexually active women. METHODS: This retrospective study included 74 patients (study group) who were referred for laser vaporization therapy of exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata, and 88 asymptomatic volunteers without evidence of exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata (control group) who were referred for screening Papanicolaou (Pap) test cervical evaluation including colposcopy. The diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia was based on Pap smear, colposcopy and/or biopsy. RESULTS: On Pap smear, atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions were found in 10 (13.5%) women with exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata and in 2 (2.3%) asymptomatic volunteers (p < 0.05). Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia was found in 8 women with exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata and in none of the asymptomatic volunteers (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: An association was found between exophytic vulvar condyloma acuminata and abnormal Pap smear or positive cervical biopsy, in generally healthy women.
PMCID: PMC1784565  PMID: 16126498
20.  Prevention of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy: knowledge of risk factors. 
BACKGROUND: Infection with Toxoplasma gondii is common and usually asymptomatic, although it can have catastrophic consequences in a pregnant woman if passed to her developing fetus. Counseling of pregnant women about risk factor reduction may reduce the risk of congenital toxoplasmosis. This study was undertaken to assess and compare the knowledge of obstetricians and internists or family practitioners regarding well-established risk factors for toxoplasmosis infection. METHODS: The study surveyed 102 obstetricians, internists and family practitioners to assess their knowledge of risk factors for toxoplasmosis infection as well as their practices for primary prevention counseling of pregnant women. Responses were analyzed for differences. RESULTS: Obstetricians were more likely than internists or family practitioners to provide appropriate counseling on reducing the two most common risk factors for toxoplasmosis infection (undercooked meat consumption and gardening without gloves). However, over one quarter of all participants inappropriately advised pregnant women to avoid all cat contact. Obstetricians, internists and family practitioners were all likely to fail to identify undercooked meat consumption as the primary risk factor for toxoplasmosis transmission. CONCLUSIONS: Obstetricians appear to provide more appropriate counseling for primary prevention of toxoplasmosis than internists and family practitioners, but both groups of physicians inappropriately advised avoidance of all cat contact. Education of obstetricians, internists and family practitioners on risk factors for toxoplasmosis transmission is needed and may lower the rate of congenital toxoplasmosis as well as decrease the frequency of cat abandonment during pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC1784564  PMID: 16126501
21.  Seroprevalence of Bordetella pertussis antibodies in mothers and their newborn infants. 
BACKGROUND: Pertussis is a highly communicable, vaccine-preventable respiratory disease. Although the largest number of reported cases is among young infants, the most rapidly increasing incidence in the USA is in adolescents and young adults. Importantly, adult family members are the likely major reservoir, infecting susceptible infants before completion of childhood vaccination. We studied maternal-neonatal paired blood samples for the presence of pertussis-related antibodies to assess level of immunity and passive transplacental antibody passage. METHODS. Unselected maternal-neonatal cord blood samples were collected from 101 term deliveries in a single urban uninsured/underinsured hospital setting. Sera were analyzed for anti-pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (PRN) IgG antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antibody titers were calculated using reference line methodology. Antibody values were log-transformed to establish geometric mean titers (GMT) for analysis. Student's t-test, Mann-Whitney, Pearson correlation and chi square were used for statistical comparisons as appropriate. RESULTS. Mean (SD) maternal age, gestational age and birth weight were 26.8 (6.8) years, 38.9 (1.4) weeks and 3239 (501) g, respectively. Detectable maternal levels of anti-PT, FHA and PRN were found in 34.7%, 95.0% and 80.2%, respectively. Maternal GMT (SD) for PT, FHA and PRN were 4.4 (2.6), 26.6 (3.1) and 12.3 (2.9), respectively. There was no significant relationship between PT, FHA or PRN detection or antibody GMT and maternal age. Maternal anti-PT, FHA and PRN were highly correlated with neonatal cord blood values. CONCLUSION: Despite previous childhood immunization, a large number of parous women have low or undetectable pertussis-related antibody levels, suggesting susceptibility to infection. Even with efficient transplacental passage of these antibodies, neonates similarly have limited measurable protection as detected by cord blood sampling. These data support the need for adolescent or adult vaccination against Bordetella pertussis. Healthcare providers and their clients should be aware of the risk for infant infection via family member transmission.
PMCID: PMC1784563  PMID: 16011994
22.  Epidemiological study in Okinawa, Japan, of human papillomavirus infection of the uterine cervix. 
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence and type distribution of human papillomavirus (HPV) in women with normal cervical cytology and with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia I to III(CIN) or carcinoma of the cervix in Okinawa, Japan. METHODS: We investigated HPV DNA in 4,078 subjects with cytologically normal cervices, 279 subjects with CIN, and 383 subjects with cervical cancer in Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. The presence of HPV DNA was also compared among generations. HPV DNA was both detected and typed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: The HPV positivity rate was 10.6% in the subjects who were normal on cervical cytodiagnosis. In each generation, the positivity rate was 20.4% in women aged 20-29 years and approximately 10% in the groups aged 30-89 years, with significant differences among generations. The HPV positivity rates in CIN and cervical cancer groups were 76.0% and 86.2%, respectively, with no significant difference between the groups. The positivity rate of HPV 16 decreased with age in both CIN and cervical cancer groups. CONCLUSION: Among non-cancer subjects, HPV infection rates were almost 20% in women aged 20-29 years and 10% in women aged 30-89 years. HPV16-positive CIN or carcinoma were more prevalent in the younger women, suggesting that HPV16-infected epithelial cells rapidly progress to cervical cancer.
PMCID: PMC1784562  PMID: 16011997
23.  Detection of Candida species in vaginal samples in a clinical laboratory setting. 
OBJECTIVE: To present the detection rates of Candida species in vaginal samples from patients visiting physicians. METHODS: The presence of C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis in 3978 vaginal swabs from patients in six US states was detected by PCR amplification. RESULTS: Candida DNA was detected in 33.1% of the population studied. Of the 1316 positive samples, 80.2% contained C. albicans, 14.3% contained C. glabrata, 5.9% contained C. parapsilosis and 8.0% contained C. tropicalis. Comparing samples by patients' state of residence revealed an association with the detection of C. glabrata (p = 0.029). Comparing samples by patients' age revealed a decrease in the overall detection of Candida (p < 0.001) and C. albicans (p < 0.001), concomitant with an increase in the detection of C. glabrata (p < 0.001) and C. parapsilosis (p = 0.025). CONCLUSIONS: These results provide geographic- and age-specific data on four Candida species associated with vaginitis.
PMCID: PMC1784561  PMID: 16011995
24.  The in vitro activity of vaginal Lactobacillus with probiotic properties against Candida. 
Lactobacilli, the predominant vaginal microorganisms in healthy premenopausal women, control other members of the vaginal microflora and thus protect against bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. It has been claimed that some lactobacilli are also protective against Candida vaginitis. Little is known, however, about the mechanisms by which these lactobacilli can control vaginal populations of Candida and prevent vaginitis. To address this question, vaginal Lactobacillus strains with known antagonistic properties against bacteria were tested for their cell surface properties, adhesion to vaginal cell lines in vitro and antagonistic activities against Candida. A small proportion of the lactobacilli tested adhered strongly to cultured vaginal epithelial cells and inhibited growth of Candida albicans but not of C. pseudotropicalis. This anticandidal activity was in some Lactobacillus strains related to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production, but catalase treatment did not suppress this activity in other Lactobacillus strains, suggesting alternative mechanism(s). Moreover, tested vaginal Candida strains were resistant to relatively high concentrations of H2O2 that markedly exceeded those produced by even the most active Lactobacillus strains.
PMCID: PMC1784560  PMID: 16011996
25.  Vaginal Candida parapsilosis: pathogen or bystander? 
OBJECTIVE: Candida parapsilosis is an infrequent isolate on vaginal cultures; its role as a vaginal pathogen remains unstudied. This retrospective study of women with positive culture for C. parapsilosis sought to characterize the significance of this finding and its response to antifungal therapy. METHODS: From February 2001 to August 2002, we identified all individuals with positive fungal isolates among a population of women with chronic vulvovaginal symptoms. Charts of women with C. parapsilosis cultures were reviewed with regard to patient demographics, clinical presentation and therapeutic response. Mycological cure, defined as a negative fungal culture at the next office visit, and clinical cure, i.e. symptom resolution, were determined for each subject. RESULTS: A total of 582 women had positive vaginal cultures for 635 isolates, of which 54 (8.5%) were C. parapsilosis. The charts of 51 subjects with C. parapsilosis were available for review and follow-up cultures and clinical information were available for 39 (76.5%). Microscopy was positive in 9 (17.6%). Antifungal treatment resulted in mycological cure in 17/19 patients with fluconazole, 7/7 with butoconazole, 6/6 with boric acid, 1/1 with miconazole and occurred spontaneously in 6/7: 24/37 (64.9%) patients with a mycological cure experienced clinical cure. CONCLUSIONS: Although C. parapsilosis is often a cause of vaginal symptoms, it seems to respond to a variety of antifungal agents and may even be a transient vaginal colonizer.
PMCID: PMC1784559  PMID: 16040326

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