The presence of a Type III secretion system in clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is associated with severe disease and poor outcomes in infections caused by this pathogen. We describe an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that rapidly and quantitatively detects two exotoxins, ExoU and ExoT, and two structural components, PopD and PcrV, of the P. aeruginosa Type III secretion system after in-vitro growth in a calcium-free minimal medium.
We used this assay to characterize the Type III secretion phenotype of 74 clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa. Findings were compared with results of standard immunoblotting and correlated with Type III secretion-dependent virulence of isolates toward cultured epithelial cells.
Results of the ELISA assay were concordant with immunoblot detection of the secreted antigens for 73 of 74 isolates. The Type III secretion phenotype assessed by this immunoassay predicted bacterial virulence toward epithelial cells in vitro for all but five of the clinical isolates.
The availability of an ELISA assay for rapid detection of Type III secreted virulence factors will facilitate large clinical studies to examine whether the Type III secretion phenotype of a P. aeruginosa isolate predicts the course of clinical disease in a patient and should be taken into account in determining optimal treatment strategies for infected patients.
Penicillium sp., other than P. marneffei, is an unusual cause of invasive disease. These organisms are often identified in immunosuppressed patients, either due to human immunodeficiency virus or from immunosuppressant medications post-transplantation. They are a rarely identified cause of infection in immunocompetent hosts.
A 51 year old African-American female presented with an acute abdomen and underwent an exploratory laparotomy which revealed an incarcerated peristomal hernia. Her postoperative course was complicated by severe sepsis syndrome with respiratory failure, hypotension, leukocytosis, and DIC. On postoperative day 9 she was found to have an anastamotic breakdown. Pathology from the second surgery showed transmural ischemic necrosis with angioinvasion of a fungal organism. Fungal blood cultures were positive for Penicillium chrysogenum and the patient completed a 6 week course of amphotericin B lipid complex, followed by an extended course oral intraconazole. She was discharged to a nursing home without evidence of recurrent infection.
Penicillium chrysogenum is a rare cause of infection in immunocompetent patients. Diagnosis can be difficult, but Penicillium sp. grows rapidly on routine fungal cultures. Prognosis remains very poor, but aggressive treatment is essential, including surgical debridement and the removal of foci of infection along with the use of amphotericin B. The clinical utility of newer antifungal agents remains to be determined.
Eradication of Helicobacter pylori is an important objective in overcoming gastric diseases. Many regimens are currently available but none of them could achieve 100% success in eradication. Eugenol and cinnamaldehyde that are commonly used in various food preparations are known to possess antimicrobial activity against a wide spectrum of bacteria.
The present study was performed to assess the in vitro effects of eugenol and cinnamaldehyde against indigenous and standard H. pylori strains, their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and time course lethal effects at various pH.
A total of 31 strains (29 indigenous and one standard strain of H. pylori ATCC 26695, one strain of E. coli NCIM 2089) were screened. Agar dilution method was used for the determination of drug sensitivity patterns of isolates to the commonly used antibiotics and broth dilution method for the test compounds.
Eugenol and cinnamaldehyde inhibited the growth of all the 30 H. pylori strains tested, at a concentration of 2 μg/ml, in the 9th and 12th hours of incubation respectively. At acidic pH, increased activity was observed for both the compounds. Furthermore, the organism did not develop any resistance towards these compounds even after 10 passages grown at sub-inhibitory concentrations.
These results indicate that the two bioactive compounds we tested may prevent H. pylori growth in vitro, without acquiring any resistance.
Investigation of two independent outbreaks of post cataract surgery endophthalmitis identified the reservoir of epidemic strains of P. aeruginosa.
Patient isolates cultured from vitreous fluid of all the nine cases and from the peripheral devices of phacoemulsification machine were subjected to high-resolution Fluorescent Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (FAFLP) analysis.
FAFLP based genotyping of the isolates confirmed nosocomial transmission. Although biochemical characterization and antibiotic susceptibility profiles grouped all the isolates together, FAFLP based genotyping revealed that, all the outbreak isolates were derived from 2 different strains, with independent origins. One group of isolates was traced to phacoprobe and the second one to the internal tubing system of the phacoemulsification machine used in cataract surgery. In silico analysis indicated possible evolution in both the clusters of P. aeruginosa isolates due to genetic polymorphisms. The polymorphisms were mapped to gene products (cell envelope, outer membrane proteins) possibly having significant role in pathogenesis.
The present study is probably the first one to apply FAFLP typing successfully to investigate outbreaks of postoperative endophthalmitis (POE) in an ophthalmic setting, which was able to identify the source, and helped to make rational decisions on sterilization procedures that halted more cases of infection in these hospitals.
Extrapulmonary manifestations of tuberculosis have become increasingly important in the era of HIV/AIDS.
We describe a case of tuberculosis (TB) dactylitis in a patient with AIDS who originated from the Ivory Coast. The diagnosis was established by direct visualization of acid-fast bacilli on joint fluid and bone biopsy of the proximal phalanx. Imaging of the chest revealed multiple bilateral nodules. Confirmation of the diagnosis was made by isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from sputum and bone cultures.
Tuberculosis should be considered in patients with unusual soft tissue or skeletal lesions, especially when an immunosuppressive condition is present. Ziehl-Neelsen staining and culture of tissue obtained via surgical biopsy offer the most direct approach to diagnosis.
The Gram negative curved bacillus H. pylori has become the prize bug of all times. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren the two discoverers of this organism have been awarded with this year's Nobel Prize. The Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute of Sweden has selected this paradigm shift discovery of 1982 as the most impacting in medical sciences. This award has surprised many as the Nobel assembly has selected this 'Robert Koch styled medical detective work' for the prize as compared to many outstanding basic research stories on the waitlist. This editorial briefly touches the significant impact of H. pylori on gastroduodenal management and the path forward as the bug has become quite controversial in recent times.
Accurate information about prescribing patterns in hospitals is valuable in improving the quality of antimicrobial prescriptions.
Data on the use of antimicrobial agents in eighteen tertiary care hospitals were collected on March 20th 2002.
One or more antimicrobials were ordered in 2900 (30.6 %)of 9471 hospitalized patients. The reasons of hospitalization of the patients receiving antimicrobials were medical treatment (42.5 %), elective surgery (39.6 %), treatment of infectious disease (17.1 %) and emergent surgical procedures (10.4 %). The highest consumption frequencies were found in surgical (81.6 %) and medical (55.2 %) intensive care units. The 48.8 % of antimicrobials were given for treatment and 44.2 % for prophylactic use. The most common reasons for treatment were found as lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, surgical wound infections and febrile neutropenia. Antimicrobials were ordered empirically in 78.4 % of patients. The proven infection ratio was found as 30.7 %. The 56.4 % and 13.4 % of orders were evaluated as clinically and microbiologically appropriate respectively.
These results suggest that antimicrobial prescription and empirical treatment ratios were high and inappropriate at inpatient groups.
antimicrobial use; appropriate antimicrobial use; cost
Anaplasma phagocytophilum causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) in humans, which has been recognized as an emerging tick-borne disease in the United States and Europe. Although about 65 cases of HGA have been reported in Europe, some of them do not fulfill the criteria for confirmed HGA. Confirmation of HGA requires A. phagocytophilum isolation from blood, and/or identification of morulae in granulocytes and/or positive PCR results with subsequent sequencing of the amplicons to demonstrate specific rickettsial DNA. Seroconversion or at least fourfold increase in antibody titers to A. phagocytophilum has been used as criteria for confirmed HGA also.
Infection with A. phagocytophilum was confirmed by PCR in a patient in Sicily, Italy, who had negative serology for A. phagocytophilum. A fragment of A. phagocytophilum 16S rDNA was amplified by two independent laboratories and sequenced from two separate patient's blood samples. The 16S rDNA sequence was identical in both samples and identical to the sequence of the A. phagocytophilum strain USG3 originally obtained from a dog.
Infection with A. phagocytophilum was confirmed in a patient without a detectable antibody response against the pathogen. The results reported herein documented the first case of confirmed HGA in Sicily, Italy. These results suggested the possibility of human infections with A. phagocytophilum strains that result in clinical symptoms and laboratory findings confirmatory of HGA but without detectable antibodies against the pathogen.
Human granulocytic anaplasmosis; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; 16S rDNA sequence
Of the diverse presentation of neurobrucellosis, intra-medullary spinal cord abscess is extremely rare. Only four other cases have been reported so far. We present a case of spinal cord intra-medullary abscess due to Brucella melitensis.
A forty-year-old female presented with progressive weakness of both lower limb with urinary incontinence of 6 months duration. She was febrile. Neurological examination revealed flaccid areflexic paraplegia with T10 below sensory impairment including perianal region. An intramedullary mass was diagnosed on Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scan extending from T12 to L2. At surgery, a large abscess was encountered at the conus medullaris, from which Brucella melitensis was grown on culture. She was started on streptomycin and doxycycline for 1 month, followed by rifampicin and doxycycline for 1 month. At 2-year follow-up, she had recovered only partially and continued to have impaired bladder function.
Neurobrucellosis, if not treated early, can result in severe neurological morbidity and sequale, which may be irreversible. Hence it is important to consider the possibility of neurobrucellosis in endemic region and treat aggressively.
Neurobrucellosis; Brucella melitensis; spinal cord; intra-medullary abscess; MRI
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection is not uncommon as a result of similar routes of infection. Patients who are coinfected represent a unique group with diverse serologic profiles. Combined chronic hepatitis B and C leads to more severe liver disease and an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, coinfected patients represent a treatment challenge. No standard recommendations exist for treatment of viral hepatitis due to dual HBV/HCV infection, and therefore treatment must be individualized based on patient variables such as serologic and virologic profiles, patient's prior exposure to antiviral treatment, and the presence of other parenterally transmitted viruses such as hepatitis D virus and human immunodeficiency virus. The natural history and treatment of patients with HBV and HCV coinfection is reviewed.
Treatment; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; HBV/HCV; Coinfection; Dual infection; Interferon; Ribavirin; Lamivudine; Triple infection; HBV/HCV/HDV; HBV/HCV/HIV
The number of Salmonella strains with reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones has increased during recent years in many countries, threatening the value of this antimicrobial group in the treatment of severe salmonella infections.
We analyzed the in vitro activities of ciprofloxacin and 10 additional fluoroquinolones against 816 Salmonella strains collected from Finnish patients between 1995 and 2003. Special attention was focused on the efficacy of newer fluoroquinolones against the Salmonella strains with reduced ciprofloxacin susceptibility.
The isolates represented 119 different serotypes. Of all 816 Salmonella strains, 3 (0.4%) were resistant to ciprofloxacin (MIC ≥ 4 μg/ml), 232 (28.4%) showed reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (MIC ≥ 0.125 – 2 μg/ml), and 581 (71.2%) were ciprofloxacin-susceptible. The MIC50 and MIC90 values of ciprofloxacin for these strains were 0.032 and 0.25 μg/ml, respectively, being lower than those of the other fluoroquinolone compounds presently on market in Finland (ofloxacin, norfloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin). For two newer quinolones, clinafloxacin and sitafloxacin, the MIC50 and MIC90 values were lowest, both 0.016 and 0.064 μg/ml, respectively. Moreover, clinafloxacin and sitafloxacin exhibited the lowest MIC50 and MIC90 values, 0.064 and 0.125 μg/ml, against the 235 Salmonella strains with reduced susceptibility and strains fully resistant to ciprofloxacin.
Among the registered fluoroquinolones in Finland, ciprofloxacin still appears to be the most effective drug for the treatment salmonella infections. Among the newer preparations, both clinafloxacin and sitafloxacin are promising based on in vitro studies, especially for strains showing reduced ciprofloxacin susceptibility. Their efficacy, however, has not been demonstrated in clinical investigations.
CMV-induced vasculopathy and thrombosis have been reported, but they are rare conditions usually encountered in immunocompromised patients. However more and more complications of CMV infections are recognized in immunocompetent patients.
We present a case report of a previously healthy adult with cytomegalovirus infection that was complicated by tibiopopliteal deep venous thrombosis and in whom Factor V Leiden heterozygous mutation was found.
This new case report emphasizes the involvement of cytomegalovirus in induction of vascular thrombosis in patients with predisposing risk factors for thrombosis. It is necessary to screen for CMV infection in patients with spontaneous thrombosis and an history of fever.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the genus, Leptospira. Leptospira interrogans is the most common genomospecies implicated in the disease. Epidemiological investigations are needed to distinguish outbreak situations or to trace reservoirs of the organisms. Current methodologies used for typing Leptospira have significant drawbacks. The development of an easy to perform yet high resolution method is needed for this organism.
In this study we have searched the available genomic sequence of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni strain Fiocruz L1-130 for the presence of tandem repeats . These repeats were evaluated against reference strains for diversity. Six loci were selected to create a Multiple Locus Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTR) Analysis (MLVA) to explore the genetic diversity within L. interrogans serovar Australis clinical isolates from Far North Queensland.
The 39 reference strains used for the development of the method displayed 39 distinct patterns. Diversity Indexes for the loci varied between 0.80 and 0.93 and the number of repeat units at each locus varied between less than one to 52 repeats. When the MLVA was applied to serovar Australis isolates three large clusters were distinguishable, each comprising various hosts including Rattus species, human and canines.
The MLVA described in this report, was easy to perform, analyse and was reproducible. The loci selected had high diversity allowing discrimination between serovars and also between strains within a serovar. This method provides a starting point on which improvements to the method and comparisons to other techniques can be made.
Mutations in a small region of the rpoB gene are responsible for most rifamycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this study we have sequentially generated resistant strains to first rifampicin and then rifabutin. Portions of the rpoB gene were sequenced from 131 randomly selected mutants. Second round selection resulted in a changed frequency of specific mutations.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (strain Mtb72) rifamycin resistant mutants were selected in vitro with either rifampicin or rifabutin. One mutant R190 (rpoB S522L) selected with rifampicin had a rifampicin MIC of 32 μg/ml but remained sensitive to rifabutin (MIC<0.8 μg/ml). This mutant was subjected to a second round of selection with rifabutin.
All 105 first round resistant mutants derived from the parent strain (Mtb72) screened acquired mutations within the 81 bp rpoB hotspot. When the rifampicin resistant but rifabutin sensitive S522L mutant was subjected to a second round of selection, single additional rpoB mutations were identified in 24 (92%) of 26 second round mutants studied, but 14 (54%) of these strains contained mutations outside the 81 bp hotspot (codons 144, 146, 148, 505). Additionally, spontaneous rifabutin resistant mutants were produced at >10 times the frequency by the S522L mutant than the parent strain.
First round selection of mutation S522L with rifampicin increased the frequency and changed the spectrum of mutations identified after selection with rifabutin.
Toxigenic strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae are well known agent of diphtheria. Nontoxigenic strains can cause atypical course of the disease. Invasive diseases caused by C. diphtheriae occur very rare.
We have described the first case of septicemia and endocarditis due to nontoxigenic C. diphtheriae biotype gravis in Poland. The patient has not belonged to any group of risk such infection.
The case presented in this article shows unusual case of infection connected with nontoxigenic C. diphtheriae that took place in the area where have been no cases of diphtheria and other C. diphtheriae infections for near ten years. It shows the importance of identifying Corynebacterium isolates at the species level especially when the strain has been isolated from normally sterile sites.
Changes in morphology and growth curve of Candida albicans in response to treatment by Cisplatin has been studied using fluorescence staining with ethidium bromide. Treatment with Cisplatin was found to markedly inhibit hyphae and ovoid growth as revealed by ethidium bromide staining of drug treated cells. These changes were concomitant with inhibitory effects on the growth curve with respect to untreated cells
Presence of Cisplatin not only caused suppression in the limiting values in the growth curve, but also caused a slight left shift in the EC50 values. Some of the ovoid cells undergoing poisoning with cisplatin were found to be unusually enlarged before undergoing their natural fate thus suggesting formation of similar cytotoxic end products with DNA.
Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is affecting one-third of the world population, and activation of LTBI is a substantial source of new cases of tuberculosis. LTBI is caused by tubercle bacilli in a state of non-replicating persistence (NRP), and the goal of this study was to evaluate the activity in vitro of various antimicrobial agents against non-replicating M. tuberculosis.
To achieve a state of NRP we placed broth cultures of M. tuberculosis (three strains) in anaerobic conditions, and in this model tested all known anti-TB drugs and some other antimicrobial agents (a total of 32 drugs). The potential effect was evaluated by plating samples from broth cultures for determining the number of viable bacteria (CFU/ml) during a prolonged period of cultivation. Besides drug-free controls we used metronidazole for positive controls, the only drug known so far to be effective against tubercle bacilli in anaerobic setting.
On a background of non-replicating conditions in drug-free cultures and clear bactericidal effect of metronidazole none of the antimicrobial agents tested produced effect similar to that of metronidazole except capreomycin, which was as bactericidal at the same level as metronidazole.
The unique ability of capreomycin to be bactericidal in vitro among the anti-TB drugs against non-replicating tubercle bacilli may justify the search for other drugs among peptide antibiotics with similar activity. This phenomenon requires further studies on the mechanism of action of capreomycin, and evaluation of its activity in appropriate animal models.
latent tuberculosis infection; dormant tubercle bacilli; capreomycin
Antimicrobial therapy is considered an important component in the medical management of most patients with acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB). The three predominant bacterial species isolated are nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Staphylococcus aureus is also frequently isolated while atypical bacteria are thought to cause up to 10% of exacerbations. Antibacterial resistance is increasing worldwide and little surveillance data exist concerning pathogens isolated from patients with AECB.
This study examines the prevalence of antibacterial resistance in isolates obtained from patients with clinically diagnosed AECB. A total of 3043 isolates were obtained from 85 centres in 29 countries, between 1999–2003, and were tested against the new ketolide telithromycin and a panel of commonly used antibiotics.
Results and Discussion
Of the S. pneumoniae isolates, 99.9% were susceptible to telithromycin, but only 71% were susceptible to erythromycin and 75.3% to penicillin. Of the H. influenzae isolates, 99.6% were susceptible to telithromycin. 11.7% of these isolates produced β-lactamase. Almost 10% of S. pneumoniae were multidrug-resistant; 99.0% of these isolates were susceptible to telithromycin. Telithromycin also demonstrated good in vitro activity against M. catarrhalis (MIC90 = 0.12 mg/L) and was the most active compound against methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (98.9% susceptible).
Telithromycin demonstrated similar or better activity against the bacterial species investigated than the other agents, with the most complete coverage overall. These species are the predominant causative bacterial pathogens in AECB and thus the spectrum of activity of telithromycin makes it a potential alternative for the empirical treatment of AECB.
Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare disorder of phagocytes in which absence of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production in phagocytes predisposes patients to bacterial and fungal infections. The most common fungal infections in these patients are caused by Aspergillus species.
Here, we describe Aspergillus osteomyelitis of the ribs and hepatic abscess in a 5-year-old boy. The patient was successfully treated with Amphotericin B and INF-γ.
With respect to the high frequency of aspergillosis in the CGD patient, immune deficiency should be investigated in patients with invasive aspergillosis. Moreover, using antifungal drugs as prophylaxis can improve the quality of life in these patients.
In a retrospective study of HIV-infected patients, we investigated the influence of the MDR1 genotype (G2677T/A and C3435T) on the virological and immunological response of treatment naïve patients.
The MDR1 genotype was analysed from 72 patients in whom antiretroviral therapy was initiated between 1998 and 2004. Data were obtained at week 4, 12, 24 and 48 and were analysed by the Kruskal-Wallis test.
During the first 48 weeks of antiretroviral therapy, there were no significant differences in the virological and immunological response with respect to the MDR1 2677 and 3435 genotypes and the 2677/3435 haplotype.
In view of different results from several studies concerning the influence of MDR1 polymorphisms on the immunological and virological response to antiretroviral therapy, further studies with larger patient groups and longer follow-up are necessary in order to resolve conflicting issues.
Shed cells or disrupted parts of the biofilm may enter the circulation causing serious and very hard to treat biofilm-associated infections. The activity of antimicrobial agents against the shed cells/disrupted biofilms is largely unknown.
We studied the in vitro susceptibility of intact and disrupted biofilms of thirty clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant and methicillin–susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA and MSSA) and Staphylococcus epidermidis to vancomycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin, and linezolid and compared it to that of the suspended (planktonic) cells.
Bacteria in the disrupted biofilms were as resistant as those in the intact biofilms at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of the antibiotics. At higher concentrations, bacteria in the disrupted biofilms were significantly (P < 0.001) less resistant than those in the intact biofilms but more resistant than the planktonic cells. Quinupristin/dalfopristin showed the best activity against cells of the disrupted biofilms at concentrations above MICs and vancomycin, at 500 and 1,000 μg/ml, was significantly more active against the biofilms of MRSA and S. epidermidis
The difficulty of treating biofilm-associated infections may be attributed not only to the difficulty of eradicating the biofilm focus but also to the lack of susceptibility of cells disrupted from the biofilm to antimicrobial agents.
Biofilm; disrupted biofilm; vancomycin; quinupristin/dalfopristin; linezolid.
The human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori causes chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. It infects over 50% of the worlds' population, however, only a small subset of infected people experience H. pylori-associated illnesses. Associations with disease-specific factors remain enigmatic years after the genome sequences were deciphered. Infection with strains of Helicobacter pylori that carry the cytotoxin-associated antigen A (cagA) gene is associated with gastric carcinoma. Recent studies revealed mechanisms through which the cagA protein triggers oncopathogenic activities. Other candidate genes such as some members of the so-called plasticity region cluster are also implicated to be associated with carcinoma of stomach. Study of the evolution of polymorphisms and sequence variation in H. pylori populations on a global basis has provided a window into the history of human population migration and co-evolution of this pathogen with its host. Possible symbiotic relationships were debated since the discovery of this pathogen. The debate has been further intensified as some studies have posed the possibility that H. pylori infection may be beneficial in some humans. This assumption is based on increased incidence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's oesophagus and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus following H. pylori eradication in some countries. The contribution of comparative genomics to our understanding of the genome organisation and diversity of H. pylori and its pathophysiological importance to human healthcare is exemplified in this review.