Showing papers in "Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 2006"
TL;DR: This review focuses on the microbiological, clinical, immunological, and biochemical aspects of the pathogenesis of H. pylori, which represents a key factor in the etiology of various gastrointestinal diseases.
Abstract: Helicobacter pylori is the first formally recognized bacterial carcinogen and is one of the most successful human pathogens, as over half of the world's population is colonized with this gram-negative bacterium. Unless treated, colonization usually persists lifelong. H. pylori infection represents a key factor in the etiology of various gastrointestinal diseases, ranging from chronic active gastritis without clinical symptoms to peptic ulceration, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. Disease outcome is the result of the complex interplay between the host and the bacterium. Host immune gene polymorphisms and gastric acid secretion largely determine the bacterium's ability to colonize a specific gastric niche. Bacterial virulence factors such as the cytotoxin-associated gene pathogenicity island-encoded protein CagA and the vacuolating cytotoxin VacA aid in this colonization of the gastric mucosa and subsequently seem to modulate the host's immune system. This review focuses on the microbiological, clinical, immunological, and biochemical aspects of the pathogenesis of H. pylori.
TL;DR: The structural requirements of peptides for antiviral and antibacterial activities are evaluated in light of the diverse set of primary and secondary structures described for host defense peptides.
Abstract: Antimicrobial host defense peptides are produced by all complex organisms as well as some microbes and have diverse and complex antimicrobial activities. Collectively these peptides demonstrate a broad range of antiviral and antibacterial activities and modes of action, and it is important to distinguish between direct microbicidal and indirect activities against such pathogens. The structural requirements of peptides for antiviral and antibacterial activities are evaluated in light of the diverse set of primary and secondary structures described for host defense peptides. Peptides with antifungal and antiparasitic activities are discussed in less detail, although the broad-spectrum activities of such peptides indicate that they are important host defense molecules. Knowledge regarding the relationship between peptide structure and function as well as their mechanism of action is being applied in the design of antimicrobial peptide variants as potential novel therapeutic agents.
TL;DR: Improved outcomes for severely burned patients have been attributed to medical advances in fluid resuscitation, nutritional support, pulmonary and burn wound care, and infection control practices.
Abstract: Burns are one of the most common and devastating forms of trauma. Patients with serious thermal injury require immediate specialized care in order to minimize morbidity and mortality. Significant thermal injuries induce a state of immunosuppression that predisposes burn patients to infectious complications. A current summary of the classifications of burn wound infections, including their diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, is given. Early excision of the eschar has substantially decreased the incidence of invasive burn wound infection and secondary sepsis, but most deaths in severely burn-injured patients are still due to burn wound sepsis or complications due to inhalation injury. Burn patients are also at risk for developing sepsis secondary to pneumonia, catheter-related infections, and suppurative thrombophlebitis. The introduction of silver-impregnated devices (e.g., central lines and Foley urinary catheters) may reduce the incidence of nosocomial infections due to prolonged placement of these devices. Improved outcomes for severely burned patients have been attributed to medical advances in fluid resuscitation, nutritional support, pulmonary and burn wound care, and infection control practices.
TL;DR: It is essential that there be a strategy to prevent the emergence of resistance to new drugs; combination therapy, monitoring of therapy, and improved diagnostics could play an essential role in this strategy.
Abstract: Leishmaniasis is a complex disease, with visceral and cutaneous manifestations, and is caused by over 15 different species of the protozoan parasite genus Leishmania. There are significant differences in the sensitivity of these species both to the standard drugs, for example, pentavalent antimonials and miltefosine, and those on clinical trial, for example, paromomycin. Over 60% of patients with visceral leishmaniasis in Bihar State, India, do not respond to treatment with pentavalent antimonials. This is now considered to be due to acquired resistance. Although this class of drugs has been used for over 60 years for leishmaniasis treatment, it is only in the past 2 years that the mechanisms of action and resistance have been identified, related to drug metabolism, thiol metabolism, and drug efflux. With the introduction of new therapies, including miltefosine in 2002 and paromomycin in 2005-2006, it is essential that there be a strategy to prevent the emergence of resistance to new drugs; combination therapy, monitoring of therapy, and improved diagnostics could play an essential role in this strategy.
TL;DR: Real-time PCR assays provide sensitivity and specificity equivalent to that of conventional PCR combined with Southern blot analysis, and since amplification and detection steps are performed in the same closed vessel, the risk of releasing amplified nucleic acids into the environment is negligible.
Abstract: Real-time PCR has revolutionized the way clinical microbiology laboratories diagnose many human microbial infections. This testing method combines PCR chemistry with fluorescent probe detection of amplified product in the same reaction vessel. In general, both PCR and amplified product detection are completed in an hour or less, which is considerably faster than conventional PCR detection methods. Real-time PCR assays provide sensitivity and specificity equivalent to that of conventional PCR combined with Southern blot analysis, and since amplification and detection steps are performed in the same closed vessel, the risk of releasing amplified nucleic acids into the environment is negligible. The combination of excellent sensitivity and specificity, low contamination risk, and speed has made real-time PCR technology an appealing alternative to culture- or immunoassay-based testing methods for diagnosing many infectious diseases. This review focuses on the application of real-time PCR in the clinical microbiology laboratory.
TL;DR: It is clear that the authors do not know enough about bat biology; they are doing too little in terms of bat conservation; and there remain a multitude of questions regarding the role of bats in disease emergence.
Abstract: Bats (order Chiroptera, suborders Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera) are abundant, diverse, and geographically widespread. These mammals provide us with resources, but their importance is minimized and many of their populations and species are at risk, even threatened or endangered. Some of their characteristics (food choices, colonial or solitary nature, population structure, ability to fly, seasonal migration and daily movement patterns, torpor and hibernation, life span, roosting behaviors, ability to echolocate, virus susceptibility) make them exquisitely suitable hosts of viruses and other disease agents. Bats of certain species are well recognized as being capable of transmitting rabies virus, but recent observations of outbreaks and epidemics of newly recognized human and livestock diseases caused by viruses transmitted by various megachiropteran and microchiropteran bats have drawn attention anew to these remarkable mammals. This paper summarizes information regarding chiropteran characteristics and information regarding 66 viruses that have been isolated from bats. From these summaries, it is clear that we do not know enough about bat biology, that we are doing too little in terms of bat conservation, and that there remain a multitude of questions regarding the role of bats in disease emergence.
TL;DR: This review summarizes recent developments in understanding of the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities of the tea tree oil and its components, as well as clinical efficacy.
Abstract: Complementary and alternative medicines such as tea tree (melaleuca) oil have become increasingly popular in recent decades. This essential oil has been used for almost 100 years in Australia but is now available worldwide both as neat oil and as an active component in an array of products. The primary uses of tea tree oil have historically capitalized on the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions of the oil. This review summarizes recent developments in our understanding of the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities of the oil and its components, as well as clinical efficacy. Specific mechanisms of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action are reviewed, and the toxicity of the oil is briefly discussed.
TL;DR: This review focuses on chromosomally encoded pumps in bacteria that cause infections in humans, and suggests that resistance nodulation division systems are important in pathogenicity and/or survival in a particular ecological niche.
Abstract: Efflux pump genes and proteins are present in both antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Pumps may be specific for one substrate or may transport a range of structurally dissimilar compounds (including antibiotics of multiple classes); such pumps can be associated with multiple drug (antibiotic) resistance (MDR). However, the clinical relevance of efflux-mediated resistance is species, drug, and infection dependent. This review focuses on chromosomally encoded pumps in bacteria that cause infections in humans. Recent structural data provide valuable insights into the mechanisms of drug transport. MDR efflux pumps contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria in several ways: (i) inherent resistance to an entire class of agents, (ii) inherent resistance to specific agents, and (iii) resistance conferred by overexpression of an efflux pump. Enhanced efflux can be mediated by mutations in (i) the local repressor gene, (ii) a global regulatory gene, (iii) the promoter region of the transporter gene, or (iv) insertion elements upstream of the transporter gene. Some data suggest that resistance nodulation division systems are important in pathogenicity and/or survival in a particular ecological niche. Inhibitors of various efflux pump systems have been described; typically these are plant alkaloids, but as yet no product has been marketed.
TL;DR: This review characterizes the currently known pathogenic species of Nocardia, including clinical disease, drug susceptibility, and methods of identification, including PCR restriction enzyme analysis and 16S rRNA sequencing.
Abstract: The recent explosion of newly described species of Nocardia results from the impact in the last decade of newer molecular technology, including PCR restriction enzyme analysis and 16S rRNA sequencing. These molecular techniques have revolutionized the identification of the nocardiae by providing rapid and accurate identification of recognized nocardiae and, at the same time, revealing new species and a number of yet-to-be-described species. There are currently more than 30 species of nocardiae of human clinical significance, with the majority of isolates being N. nova complex, N. abscessus, N. transvalensis complex, N. farcinica, N. asteroides type VI (N. cyriacigeorgica), and N. brasiliensis. These species cause a wide variety of diseases and have variable drug susceptibilities. Accurate identification often requires referral to a reference laboratory with molecular capabilities, as many newer species are genetically distinct from established species yet have few or no distinguishing phenotypic characteristics. Correct identification is important in deciding the clinical relevance of a species and in the clinical management and treatment of patients with nocardial disease. This review characterizes the currently known pathogenic species of Nocardia, including clinical disease, drug susceptibility, and methods of identification.
TL;DR: Identification and exploration of the underlying mechanisms responsible for this synergism will provide targets for prevention and treatment using drugs and vaccines.
Abstract: Bacterial infections following influenza are an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Based on the historical importance of pneumonia as a cause of death during pandemic influenza, the increasingly likely possibility that highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses will trigger the next worldwide pandemic underscores the need to understand the multiple mechanisms underlying the interaction between influenza virus and bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. There is ample evidence to support the historical view that influenza virus alters the lungs in a way that predisposes to adherence, invasion, and induction of disease by pneumococcus. Access to receptors is a key factor and may be facilitated by the virus through epithelial damage, by exposure or up-regulation of receptors, or by provoking the epithelial regeneration response to cytotoxic damage. More recent data indicate that alteration of the immune response by diminishing the ability of the host to clear pneumococcus or by amplification of the inflammatory cascade is another key factor. Identification and exploration of the underlying mechanisms responsible for this synergism will provide targets for prevention and treatment using drugs and vaccines.
TL;DR: This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of M. leprae and the host response to it, especially concerning molecular identification of M.'s genome, transcriptome, and proteome, its mechanisms of microbial resistance, and recognition of strains by variable-number tandem repeat analysis.
Abstract: Leprosy is best understood as two conjoined diseases. The first is a chronic mycobacterial infection that elicits an extraordinary range of cellular immune responses in humans. The second is a peripheral neuropathy that is initiated by the infection and the accompanying immunological events. The infection is curable but not preventable, and leprosy remains a major global health problem, especially in the developing world, publicity to the contrary notwithstanding. Mycobacterium leprae remains noncultivable, and for over a century leprosy has presented major challenges in the fields of microbiology, pathology, immunology, and genetics; it continues to do so today. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of M. leprae and the host response to it, especially concerning molecular identification of M. leprae, knowledge of its genome, transcriptome, and proteome, its mechanisms of microbial resistance, and recognition of strains by variable-number tandem repeat analysis. Advances in experimental models include studies in gene knockout mice and the development of molecular techniques to explore the armadillo model. In clinical studies, notable progress has been made concerning the immunology and immunopathology of leprosy, the genetics of human resistance, mechanisms of nerve injury, and chemotherapy. In nearly all of these areas, however, leprosy remains poorly understood compared to other major bacterial diseases.
TL;DR: An overview of blood culture contamination is provided and the potential utility of a variety of approaches to improve both detection and prevention is described.
Abstract: Blood culture contamination represents an ongoing source of frustration for clinicians and microbiologists alike. Ambiguous culture results often lead to diagnostic uncertainty in clinical management and are associated with increased health care costs due to unnecessary treatment and testing. A variety of strategies have been investigated and employed to decrease contamination rates. In addition, numerous approaches to increase our ability to distinguish between clinically significant bacteremia and contamination have been explored. In recent years, there has been an increase in the application of computer-based tools to support infection control activities as well as provide clinical decision support related to the management of infectious diseases. Finally, new approaches for estimating bacteremia risk which have the potential to decrease unnecessary blood culture utilization have been developed and evaluated. In this review, we provide an overview of blood culture contamination and describe the potential utility of a variety of approaches to improve both detection and prevention. While it is clear that progress is being made, fundamental challenges remain.
TL;DR: Mechanisms used to explain the association of autoimmunity and virus infection are molecular mimicry, bystander activation, and viral persistance, which are discussed in the context of multiple sclerosis, myocarditis, and diabetes.
Abstract: Virus infections and autoimmune disease have long been linked. These infections often precede the occurrence of inflammation in the target organ. Several mechanisms often used to explain the association of autoimmunity and virus infection are molecular mimicry, bystander activation (with or without epitope spreading), and viral persistance. These mechanisms have been used separately or in various combinations to account for the immunopathology observed at the site of infection and/or sites of autoimmune disease, such as the brain, heart, and pancreas. These mechanisms are discussed in the context of multiple sclerosis, myocarditis, and diabetes, three immune-medicated diseases often linked with virus infections.
TL;DR: Whether the cells producing mucins or antimicrobial peptides and the resident microbiota act in partnership and whether they function individually and/or synergistically to provide the host with an effective front line of defense against harmful enteric pathogens is examined.
Abstract: The intestinal tract is a complex ecosystem that combines resident microbiota and the cells of various phenotypes with complex metabolic activities that line the epithelial wall. The intestinal cells that make up the epithelium provide physical and chemical barriers that protect the host against the unwanted intrusion of microorganisms that hijack the cellular molecules and signaling pathways of the host and become pathogenic. Some of the organisms making up the intestinal microbiota also have microbicidal effects that contribute to the barrier against enteric pathogens. This review describes the two cell lineages present in the intestinal epithelium: the goblet cells and the Paneth cells, both of which play a pivotal role in the first line of enteric defense by producing mucus and antimicrobial peptides, respectively. We also analyze recent insights into the intestinal microbiota and the mechanisms by which some resident species act as a barrier to enteric pathogens. Moreover, this review examines whether the cells producing mucins or antimicrobial peptides and the resident microbiota act in partnership and whether they function individually and/or synergistically to provide the host with an effective front line of defense against harmful enteric pathogens.
TL;DR: Syphilis is a chronic sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum subsp.
Abstract: Syphilis is a chronic sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum. Clinical manifestations separate the disease into stages; late stages of disease are now uncommon compared to the preantibiotic era. T. pallidum has an unusually small genome and lacks genes that encode many metabolic functions and classical virulence factors. The organism is extremely sensitive to environmental conditions and has not been continuously cultivated in vitro. Nonetheless, T. pallidum is highly infectious and survives for decades in the untreated host. Early syphilis lesions result from the host's immune response to the treponemes. Bacterial clearance and resolution of early lesions results from a delayed hypersensitivity response, although some organisms escape to cause persistent infection. One factor contributing to T. pallidum's chronicity is the paucity of integral outer membrane proteins, rendering intact organisms virtually invisible to the immune system. Antigenic variation of TprK, a putative surface-exposed protein, is likely to contribute to immune evasion. T. pallidum remains exquisitely sensitive to penicillin, but macrolide resistance has recently been identified in a number of geographic regions. The development of a syphilis vaccine, thus far elusive, would have a significant positive impact on global health.
TL;DR: Penicillium marneffei infection is an important emerging public health problem, especially among patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus in the areas of endemicity in southeast Asia, India, and China, and the natural history and mode of transmission of the organism remain unclear.
Abstract: Penicillium marneffei infection is an important emerging public health problem, especially among patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus in the areas of endemicity in southeast Asia, India, and China. Within these regions, P. marneffei infection is regarded as an AIDS-defining illness, and the severity of the disease depends on the immunological status of the infected individual. Early diagnosis by serologic and molecular assay-based methods have been developed and are proving to be important in diagnosing infection. The occurrence of natural reservoirs and the molecular epidemiology of P. marneffei have been studied; however, the natural history and mode of transmission of the organism remain unclear. Soil exposure, especially during the rainy season, has been suggested to be a critical risk factor. Using a highly discriminatory molecular technique, multilocus microsatellite typing, to characterize this fungus, several isolates from bamboo rats and humans were shown to share identical multilocus genotypes. These data suggest either that transmission of P. marneffei may occur from rodents to humans or that rodents and humans are coinfected from common environmental sources. These putative natural cycles of P. marneffei infection need further investigation. Studies on the fungal genetics of P. marneffei have been focused on the characterization of genetic determinants that may play important roles in asexual development, mycelial-to-yeast phase transition, and the expression of antigenic determinants. Molecular studies have identified several genes involved in germination, hyphal development, conidiogenesis, and yeast cell polarity. A number of functionally important genes, such as the malate synthase- and catalase-peroxidase protein-encoding genes, have been identified as being upregulated in the yeast phase. Future investigations pertaining to the roles of these genes in host-fungus interactions may provide the key knowledge to understanding the pathogenicity of P. marneffei.
TL;DR: Drawing conclusions that can be implemented in practice as well as an algorithm for the bedside clinician are provided and the controversies with regard to diagnostic tools and approaches, treatment plans, and prevention strategies are focused on.
Abstract: While critically ill patients experience a life-threatening illness, they commonly contract ventilator-associated pneumonia. This nosocomial infection increases morbidity and likely mortality as well as the cost of health care. This article reviews the literature with regard to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. It provides conclusions that can be implemented in practice as well as an algorithm for the bedside clinician and also focuses on the controversies with regard to diagnostic tools and approaches, treatment plans, and prevention strategies.
TL;DR: There is mounting evidence to suggest that specific strains of M. tuberculosis belonging to discrete phylogenetic clusters (lineages) may differ in virulence, pathogenesis, and epidemiologic characteristics, all of which may significantly impact TB control and vaccine development strategies.
Abstract: Molecular epidemiologic studies of tuberculosis (TB) have focused largely on utilizing molecular techniques to address short- and long-term epidemiologic questions, such as in outbreak investigations and in assessing the global dissemination of strains, respectively. This is done primarily by examining the extent of genetic diversity of clinical strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When molecular methods are used in conjunction with classical epidemiology, their utility for TB control has been realized. For instance, molecular epidemiologic studies have added much-needed accuracy and precision in describing transmission dynamics, and they have facilitated investigation of previously unresolved issues, such as estimates of recent-versus-reactive disease and the extent of exogenous reinfection. In addition, there is mounting evidence to suggest that specific strains of M. tuberculosis belonging to discrete phylogenetic clusters (lineages) may differ in virulence, pathogenesis, and epidemiologic characteristics, all of which may significantly impact TB control and vaccine development strategies. Here, we review the current methods, concepts, and applications of molecular approaches used to better understand the epidemiology of TB.
TL;DR: The laboratory diagnostics of botulism should aim at increasing the understanding of the epidemiology and prevention of the disease, and the toxin-producing organisms should be routinely isolated from the patient and the vehicle.
Abstract: Botulism is a potentially lethal paralytic disease caused by botulinum neurotoxin. Human pathogenic neurotoxins of types A, B, E, and F are produced by a diverse group of anaerobic spore-forming bacteria, including Clostridium botulinum groups I and II, Clostridium butyricum, and Clostridium baratii. The routine laboratory diagnostics of botulism is based on the detection of botulinum neurotoxin in the patient. Detection of toxin-producing clostridia in the patient and/or the vehicle confirms the diagnosis. The neurotoxin detection is based on the mouse lethality assay. Sensitive and rapid in vitro assays have been developed, but they have not yet been appropriately validated on clinical and food matrices. Culture methods for C. botulinum are poorly developed, and efficient isolation and identification tools are lacking. Molecular techniques targeted to the neurotoxin genes are ideal for the detection and identification of C. botulinum, but they do not detect biologically active neurotoxin and should not be used alone. Apart from rapid diagnosis, the laboratory diagnostics of botulism should aim at increasing our understanding of the epidemiology and prevention of the disease. Therefore, the toxin-producing organisms should be routinely isolated from the patient and the vehicle. The physiological group and genetic traits of the isolates should be determined.
TL;DR: Current serologic tests provide the foundation for diagnosis of hepatitis A and hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection and new diagnostic methods have provided tools for the rapid detection of food-borne HAV transmission and identification of the potential source of the food contamination.
Abstract: Current serologic tests provide the foundation for diagnosis of hepatitis A and hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. Recent advances in methods to identify and characterize nucleic acid markers of viral infections have provided the foundation for the field of molecular epidemiology and increased our knowledge of the molecular biology and epidemiology of HAV. Although HAV is primarily shed in feces, there is a strong viremic phase during infection which has allowed easy access to virus isolates and the use of molecular markers to determine their genetic relatedness. Molecular epidemiologic studies have provided new information on the types and extent of HAV infection and transmission in the United States. In addition, these new diagnostic methods have provided tools for the rapid detection of food-borne HAV transmission and identification of the potential source of the food contamination.
TL;DR: Clinicians should consider the likelihood of coinfection when pursuing laboratory testing or selecting therapy for patients with tick-borne illness, and animal models demonstrate that certain coinfections can modulate the immune response.
Abstract: The pathogens that cause Lyme disease (LD), human anaplasmosis, and babesiosis can coexist in Ixodes ticks and cause human coinfections. Although the risk of human coinfection differs by geographic location, the true prevalence of coinfecting pathogens among Ixodes ticks remains largely unknown for the majority of geographic locations. The prevalence of dually infected Ixodes ticks appears highest among ticks from regions of North America and Europe where LD is endemic, with reported prevalences of ≤28%. In North America and Europe, the majority of tick-borne coinfections occur among humans with diagnosed LD. Humans coinfected with LD and babesiosis appear to have more intense, prolonged symptoms than those with LD alone. Coinfected persons can also manifest diverse, influenza-like symptoms, and abnormal laboratory test results are frequently observed. Coinfecting pathogens might alter the efficiency of transmission, cause cooperative or competitive pathogen interactions, and alter disease severity among hosts. No prospective studies to assess the immunologic effects of coinfection among humans have been conducted, but animal models demonstrate that certain coinfections can modulate the immune response. Clinicians should consider the likelihood of coinfection when pursuing laboratory testing or selecting therapy for patients with tick-borne illness.
TL;DR: Analysis of available data for 1,295 patient-episode-isolate events from 12 published clinical studies demonstrated an overall success rate of 77%, including 85% for those episodes in which the fluconazole MIC was ≤8 μg/ml, and 42% forThose episodes with resistant (MIC ≥ 64 μg/ML) isolates.
Abstract: Developing interpretive breakpoints for any given organism-drug combination requires integration of the MIC distribution, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters, and the relationship between in vitro activity and outcome from both in vivo and clinical studies. Previously, the Subcommittee for Antifungal Testing of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI [formerly National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards]) proposed MIC interpretive breakpoints for fluconazole and Candida spp. These breakpoints were considered to be somewhat weak, because the clinical data supporting them came largely from mucosal infections and there were very few infections involving strains with elevated fluconazole MICs. We readdress the issue of fluconazole breakpoints for Candida by using published clinical and microbiologic data to provide further validation of the breakpoints proposed by the CLSI in 1997. We also address interpretive breakpoints for agar disk diffusion testing of fluconazole. The MIC distribution for fluconazole was determined with a collection of 13,338 clinical isolates. The overall MIC at which 90% of the isolates were inhibited was 8 μg/ml: 91% were susceptible (S) at a MIC of ≤8 μg/ml and 3% were resistant (R) (MIC ≥ 64 μg/ml). Similar results were obtained for 2,190 isolates from randomized clinical trials. Analysis of available data for 1,295 patient-episode-isolate events (692 represented mucosal infections and 603 represented invasive infections) from 12 published clinical studies demonstrated an overall success rate of 77%, including 85% for those episodes in which the fluconazole MIC was ≤8 μg/ml, 67% for those episodes in which the MIC was 16 to 32 μg/ml, and 42% for those episodes with resistant (MIC ≥ 64 μg/ml) isolates. Pharmacodynamic analysis demonstrated a strong relationship between MIC, fluconazole dose, and outcome. A dose/MIC ratio of ∼25 was supportive of the following susceptibility breakpoints for fluconazole and Candida spp.: S, MIC ≤ 8 μg/ml; susceptible-dose dependent (SDD), MIC = 16 to 32 μg/ml; R, MIC ≥ 64 μg/ml. The corresponding disk test breakpoints are as follows: S, ≥19 mm; SDD, 15 to 18 mm; R, ≤14 mm.
TL;DR: The major challenges faced by the medical and scientific communities are the understanding of the pathogenesis of hMPV disease and the development of a safe and effective vaccine to protect against infection and disease caused by this newly recognized respiratory virus.
Abstract: Since the discovery of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) in 2001, the virus has been identified worldwide. hMPV is a common respiratory pathogen, particularly in infants and young children. The virus is associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract infections and may be a trigger for asthma. At least two major genotypes of hMPV circulate during community outbreaks. Whether these genotypes represent distinct serotypes remains controversial. The major challenges faced by the medical and scientific communities are the understanding of the pathogenesis of hMPV disease and the development of a safe and effective vaccine to protect against infection and disease caused by this newly recognized respiratory virus.
TL;DR: The integration of molecular typing with conventional hospital epidemiologic surveillance has been proven to be cost-effective due to the associated reduction in the number of nosocomial infections.
Abstract: Nosocomial infections are an important source of morbidity and mortality in hospital settings, afflicting an estimated 2 million patients in United States each year. This number represents up to 5% of hospitalized patients and results in an estimated 88,000 deaths and 4.5 billion dollars in excess health care costs. Increasingly, hospital-acquired infections with multidrug-resistant pathogens represent a major problem in patients. Understanding pathogen relatedness is essential for determining the epidemiology of nosocomial infections and aiding in the design of rational pathogen control methods. The role of pathogen typing is to determine whether epidemiologically related isolates are also genetically related. To determine molecular relatedness of isolates for epidemiologic investigation, new technologies based on DNA, or molecular analysis, are methods of choice. These DNA-based molecular methodologies include pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), PCR-based typing methods, and multilocus sequence analysis. Establishing clonality of pathogens can aid in the identification of the source (environmental or personnel) of organisms, distinguish infectious from noninfectious strains, and distinguish relapse from reinfection. The integration of molecular typing with conventional hospital epidemiologic surveillance has been proven to be cost-effective due to the associated reduction in the number of nosocomial infections. Cost-effectiveness is maximized through the collaboration of the laboratory, through epidemiologic typing, and the infection control department during epidemiologic investigations.
TL;DR: A comparison of consistent patterns in lentivirus biology will expose new directions for scientific inquiry for understanding the basis for virulence versus avirulence and for host-lentiviral adaptation which are relevant to human HIV/AIDS infection.
Abstract: Over 40 nonhuman primate (NHP) species harbor species-specific simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). Similarly, more than 20 species of nondomestic felids and African hyenids demonstrate seroreactivity against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antigens. While it has been challenging to study the biological implications of nonfatal infections in natural populations, epidemiologic and clinical studies performed thus far have only rarely detected increased morbidity or impaired fecundity/survival of naturally infected SIV- or FIV-seropositive versus -seronegative animals. Cross-species transmissions of these agents are rare in nature but have been used to develop experimental systems to evaluate mechanisms of pathogenicity and to develop animal models of HIV/AIDS. Given that felids and primates are substantially evolutionarily removed yet demonstrate the same pattern of apparently nonpathogenic lentiviral infections, comparison of the biological behaviors of these viruses can yield important implications for host-lentiviral adaptation which are relevant to human HIV/AIDS infection. This review therefore evaluates similarities in epidemiology, lentiviral genotyping, pathogenicity, host immune responses, and cross-species transmission of FIVs and factors associated with the establishment of lentiviral infections in new species. This comparison of consistent patterns in lentivirus biology will expose new directions for scientific inquiry for understanding the basis for virulence versus avirulence.
TL;DR: This review presents the basic background required to calculate mass transport and shear rates in flow displacement systems, focusing on the parallel plate flow chamber as an example.
Abstract: Flow displacement systems are superior to many other (static) systems for studying microbial adhesion to surfaces because mass transport and prevailing shear conditions can be adequately controlled and notoriously ill-defined slight rinsing steps to remove so-called “loosely adhering organisms” can be avoided. In this review, we present the basic background required to calculate mass transport and shear rates in flow displacement systems, focusing on the parallel plate flow chamber as an example. Critical features in the design of flow displacement systems are discussed, as well as different strategies for data analysis. Finally, selected examples of working with flow displacement systems are given for diverse biomedical applications.
TL;DR: The topics addressed in this review are important for understanding how H. pylori resists immune clearance and also are relevant for understanding the pathogenesis of diseases caused by H.pylori (peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric lymphoma).
Abstract: Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterium that persistently colonizes more than half of the global human population. In order to successfully colonize the human stomach, H. pylori must initially overcome multiple innate host defenses. Remarkably, H. pylori can persistently colonize the stomach for decades or an entire lifetime despite development of an acquired immune response. This review focuses on the immune response to H. pylori and the mechanisms by which H. pylori resists immune clearance. Three main sections of the review are devoted to (i) analysis of the immune response to H. pylori in humans, (ii) analysis of interactions of H. pylori with host immune defenses in animal models, and (iii) interactions of H. pylori with immune cells in vitro. The topics addressed in this review are important for understanding how H. pylori resists immune clearance and also are relevant for understanding the pathogenesis of diseases caused by H. pylori (peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric lymphoma).
TL;DR: The changing epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the United States, issues related to vaccine prevention, and recommendations on the use of the new vaccine are covered.
Abstract: Neisseria meningitidis is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United States and worldwide. A serogroup A/C/W-135/Y polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine has been licensed in the United States since 1981 but has not been used universally outside of the military. On 14 January 2005, a polysaccharide conjugate vaccine that covers meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y was licensed in the United States for 11- to 55-year-olds and is now recommended for the routine immunization of adolescents and other high-risk groups. This review covers the changing epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the United States, issues related to vaccine prevention, and recommendations on the use of the new vaccine.
TL;DR: The data supporting a pathogenic potential of the novel chlamydiae for humans and other vertebrates and the interactions that most of these chlam Lydiae have with free-living amoebae are summarized.
Abstract: Novel chlamydiae are newly recognized members of the phylum Chlamydiales that are only distantly related to the classic Chlamydiaceae, i.e., Chlamydia and Chlamydophila species. They also exibit an obligate biphasic intracellular life cycle within eukaryote host cells. Some of these new chlamydiae are currently considered potential emerging human and/or animal pathogens. Parachlamydia acanthamoebae and Simkania negevensis are both emerging respiratory human pathogens, Waddlia chondrophila could be a novel abortigenic bovine agent, and Piscichlamydia salmonis has recently been identified as an agent of the gill epitheliocystis in the Atlantic salmon. Fritschea spp. and Rhabdochlamydia spp. seem to be confined to arthropods, but some evidence for human exposure exists. In this review, we first summarize the data supporting a pathogenic potential of the novel chlamydiae for humans and other vertebrates and the interactions that most of these chlamydiae have with free-living amoebae. We then review the diagnostic approaches to infections potentially due to the novel chlamydiae, especially focusing on the currently available PCR-based protocols, mammalian cell culture, the amoebal coculture system, and serology.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe the different approaches currently being evaluated in the development of vaccines against SARS-associated coronavirus and avian influenza viruses and also highlight the many obstacles encountered in developing these vaccines.
Abstract: The current threat of avian influenza to the human population, the potential for the reemergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus, and the identification of multiple novel respiratory viruses underline the necessity for the development of therapeutic and preventive strategies to combat viral infection. Vaccine development is a key component in the prevention of widespread viral infection and in the reduction of morbidity and mortality associated with many viral infections. In this review we describe the different approaches currently being evaluated in the development of vaccines against SARS-associated coronavirus and avian influenza viruses and also highlight the many obstacles encountered in the development of these vaccines. Lessons learned from current vaccine studies, coupled with our increasing knowledge of the host and viral factors involved in viral pathogenesis, will help to increase the speed with which efficacious vaccines targeting newly emerging viral pathogens can be developed.